How long ago did the child die? There is a statute of limitations (In Georgia, I believe it is 2 years, with a discovery rule starting the statute date from when injury is, or should have been, discovered). Provide a bit more information, and I can steer you in the right direction.
I am sorry to hear about your loss. The death of a child is a terrible tragedy. You should immediately consult with a trial attorney specializing in products liability cases. There are important time limits that control your case. One is the statute of limitations, which requires your to bring the claim within two years of the date of death in Georgia. The other is the statue of repose, which require your to file your claim within 10 years from first
sale of the product for claims against the manufacturer for a claim in Georgia. The fact that the product was recalled should not hinder your claim and should in fact help your attorney establish liability against the manufacturer and/or retailer.
We have litigated many product liability claims in Georgia. Please let me know if you need any help or have any questions.
I am sorry to hear about your tragic loss. You need to call a local personal injury attorney ASAP to see if you have a case because you did not say list a date of death.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
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. http://bit.ly/OB3W4m
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.
My answer is not legal advice so please don't rely upon this for any decisions or for deciding when and whether to bring a claim. Contact a real lawyer with experience in this area, give her all the facts, and ask for a real legal opinion. And because there may be one or more time limits that apply to your case (as I described in the answer), you shouldn't wait. If you do wait, and miss a deadline, your claim could be barred forever regardless of merit.
We agree with our colleagues and hope you found a lawyer to help you with this tragic incident. If not, check us out at www.knowthelawyer.com. We handle these cases.
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