While most Texas motor vehicle collisions arise out of negligent driving, some are caused by defective vehicles. People harmed in crashes caused by unsafe cars have the right to pursue product liability claims against the vehicle manufacturer, but, pursuant to Texas’s statute of repose pertaining to product liability claims, they must do so within 15 years of the date of the sale of the vehicle. If a defendant cannot establish the date of sale, they most likely cannot challenge a product liability claim as untimely, as demonstrated in Jennifer Parks et al. v. Ford Motor Company (No. 05-21-00632-CV), an opinion recently delivered by a Texas court. If you suffered harm in an accident caused by an unsafe vehicle, you might be able to recover damages from the company that manufactured the vehicle, and it is in your best interest to confer with a Texas car accident attorney.
Factual and Procedural History of the Case
It is alleged that the decedent was involved in a collision in May 2014 while driving a vehicle manufactured by the defendant. Subsequently, in May 2016, the plaintiff, as guardian of the decedent’s estate, and several other plaintiffs filed a product liability lawsuit against the defendant. In part, they alleged that the design of the subject vehicle, which was a 2001 model, rendered it unsafe because it was prone to rollovers and the strength of the roof was insufficient to withstand crashes.
Reportedly, the defendant set forth numerous affirmative defenses, including the assertion that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the statute of repose for product liability claims. Following discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment pursuant to the statute of repose, which demands that product liability claims must be pursued within 15 years of the defendant’s sale of the product. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiffs appealed. Continue Reading