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Curtis Richard Newsome

Curtis Newsome’s Answers

1 total

  • Is it possible to file a claim after a recall but consumer was unaware and product caused death of a child?

    Product- crib manufacturer ceased operation in 2005 recall suggests the same info relating to child's death

    Curtis’s Answer

    Depends. Sadly, there are often limits on a consumer's ability to bring a lawsuit depending on the facts. The first and often biggest hurdle is called the 'statute of limitation.' Every state has a different rule, but this is the law that limits the time that a parent has to file a claim for their child's death. I think some states have as short a time as six months from the day the child died, depending on the kind of case. Some states have longer time limits like Florida, which has a two year limit.

    The second rule that some states have is called the statute of repose. This again depends on each state, but you can think of the statutes of repose as basically a rule that limits a person's right to bring a claim against a defective product based upon the age of the product. It's actually measured from the time the product was first sold, and is usually much longer than the statute of limitations. In Florida for example, there is a twelve year statute of repose. Some states don't have any such limits. Regardless, this issue is highly dependent on specific state laws and facts of your case. There are also sometimes exceptions for certain kinds of products like airplanes or rail roads.

    A few weeks ago our we published a post on our firm's blog about statutes of repose and limitations as they apply to defective product cases. You can check it out here for more information.

    A third huge issue that can limit your ability to bring a case is whether you still have the product. The product is the evidence in your case; think of it like the murder weapon in a homicide or seized drugs in a drug prosecution. No product often means no case. Again however, depends on the facts of the case and state law.

    There are exceptions to all three of these limitations which vary from state to state.

    Final thought: you seem to be concerned about whether the consumer was AWARE the product caused the death. I see this all the time and it's usually never a problem. It's the norm rather than the exception for consumers to be unaware that a product was defective and caused a death, until they hear about a recall on the news or from a friend. It's only then, when they ask the right questions and look at how the product might have contributed to an injury or death that they think about bringing a claim against a manufacturer.

    Either way, and I know everyone has told you the same thing but it's true: seek good advice from a lawyer you can trust. Check them out and make sure they have real experience with these kinds of cases.

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