Supreme Court of New Mexico Rules on Statute of Limitations Issue in Favor of Plaintiff in Product Liability Case

The Supreme Court recently released an opinion in a product liability case, Badilla v. Wal-Mart Stores East, Inc. The plaintiff in the case brought a product liability claim against Wal-Mart after he suffered an injury due to an allegedly faulty shoe he bought from their store. According to the opinion, the plaintiff purchased boots from Wal-Mart, and shortly after their purchase the soles of the shoe became disconnected from the shoe because it was not glued on strongly enough.

old-brown-shoe-1530847.jpgUnfortunately, when the sole became unglued, the plaintiff tripped and injured his back as a result. Approximately three years after the accident, the plaintiff brought a case against Wal-Mart. The man claimed that Wal-Mart was negligent under the theory of product liability. He enumerated his personal injuries and demanded damages for the injuries he suffered.

The corporation argued that the case should be dismissed because the claim was time-barred, and there was no issue of fact that needed to be determined. The Court of Appeals in New Mexico agreed with Wal-Mart and dismissed the case. Following this dismissal, the plaintiff filed a writ, asking the Supreme Court of New Mexico to determine which statute of limitations his claim fell under, the three-year limitation or the four-year limitation. The Court found that, since this was a breach of warranty claim, the state’s UCC four-year statute should apply to this case.

New Mexico Statutes of Limitations
Like every other state, New Mexico has enumerated certain time periods during which claims can be brought. There are statutes of limitations in both civil and criminal cases. In most cases, the time period begins to run when the actual claim arises – that is, when the incident occurs – and claims cannot be brought after the statute of limitations has run.

New Mexico has various statutes of limitations, depending on the claim. For example, personal injury cases must generally be brought within three years. Fraud claims are given four years, and damage to personal property claims also are given four years.

For product liability claims, the case must be brought within three years of when the act or omission occurred, or when the claimant should have discovered the act or omission. However, as the above case illustrates, this can vary depending on the type of good that was sold and the accident that occurred. It is important to contact an attorney in these types of product liability claims because there are many nuances that can drastically change the outcome of a case.

Have You Been Injured Because of a Faulty Product?

If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective product, you may consider bringing a product liability claim against the manufacturer or retailer of the product. These claims are often complex, and the companies will almost always retain counsel to defend suits against them. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can help you navigate this area of the law and prepare a strong case. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained. Contact the Fine Law Firm today at 505-889-FINE to schedule your free initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

DWI Suspect Involved in Fatal New Mexico Crash Free on Bond Awaiting Trial, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 27, 2015.

Construction Site Accident in Rio Rancho Kills One and Injures Several Others, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 8, 2015.