My friend was taken away in an ambulance and has had back surgery and medical bills as a result of slipping and falling in Toys R Us in 2017. This happened before they filed chapter 11 I believe. She has no medical insurance to pay for this. She contacted a lawyer who filed a suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court on August of 2017. She said the case was dismissed for lack of prosecution. what does that mean? Her lawyer was intimidating and she was afraid to ask any questions so she never followed up. However, she is still being hounded to pay hospital and medical costs. She said she did call toys r us who said they won't pay her hospital bill. Can she still sue them and get them to pay her medical bills? Who should she contact to follow through for her? She is hispanic and her command of the English language is limited.
If the law suit was filed it is likely that it was among the claims that were discharged in the bankruptcy proceeding . Before you go further (or a lawyer went further) the bankruptcy files would need to be checked.
Putting aside the bankruptcy, your friend has a statute of limitations issue. The limitations period for negligence is generally two years. If the lawyer filed in August 2019, and it was dismissed, then it has been more than two years since the slip and fall occurred.
Now the dismissal for lack of prosecution is very concerning to me. That could be actionable malpractice, but that has a one year statute of limitations. In this instance, likely running from notice of the dismissal.
Your friend may want to contact a bankruptcy lawyer not only about the Toys R Us issue (perhaps there is a way to put in a claim that satisfies the statute in that forum) but also to discuss her own options about resolving her debts.
If this response is helpful, please mark it as "best" and/or "helpful." It helps me learn what information is the most helpful for Avvo users. This response is for general informational purposes only, and it is not intended to be specific advice to any individual, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. It is based on California law only and does not purport to apply to any other jurisdiction. I am licensed only in the State of California. All cases turn on their own unique facts and law, and need to be carefully considered on their own merits.
No, your friend cannot still sue Toys R Us. As you note, Toys R Us went bankrupt, and the deadline to file a claim in the bankruptcy case was April 6, 2018 at 5:00 pm EST. No further suits can be filed for claims that arose before the bankruptcy was filed on September 18, 2017.
As Mr. Klatt mentioned your friend may be out of options to recover for her injuries. She may be eligible for bankruptcy relief however, which could get her out of owing the medical debts. She should get a consult with a bankruptcy attorney in her area, who can review all the facts and circumstances in her case and can go over her options with her. Many bankruptcy attorneys offer free consults, and many also speak Spanish themselves or have someone in their office who does.
Disclaimer: As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney in your area about your specific situation before you choose to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards such as this one. I am a Michigan attorney and I do not give advice about state law other than Michigan law. If you live outside of Michigan the information presented here is based on federal law and general legal principles, and should not be construed as advice specific to your state's law.
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