Overturn the Statute of Repose in Florida protecting manufacturer from liability.
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One Man Dies – Another Suffers Catastrophic Burns.
How Safe Is the Professional Car/Limo Service You Are Using? We want the traveling public to know exactly what they are getting into when they climb into a commercially operated vehicle.
My husband, William Kelley, was riding with a professional car service in a Lincoln Continental on August 21, 2016 from Tampa International Airport to our home in Sarasota, Florida—a drive of a little over an hour. The air conditioning was not working, so he put down the right rear passenger window. While driving on Interstate 275, about to connect to Interstate 75, black smoke filled the car, and the driver yelled that he had lost his brakes. He slammed into a concrete barrier as he turned onto the on-ramp in an attempt to slow down from 70 MPH.
Flames engulfed the car, and my husband was on fire. At age 72, he dove out the right rear passenger window of the moving vehicle and bounced off the concrete barrier onto the opposite highway, where he rolled to put out the flames. The car continued about a hundred yards before halting, completely engulfed in flames. The driver died. My husband was taken to Tampa General Hospital Burn Unit with third degree burns on one third of his body, and given less than 20% chance of survival. Lincoln Town Cars all look similar: but we came to find out that the car he was riding in was a 2003. We discovered that we had no financial recourse to the manufacturer.
Why? Under Florida Law, the Statute of Repose (Fla. Stat. 95.031(2)) bars product liability actions for any vehicle older than 12 years. There is no legal recourse for injury or death caused by defective products like the car my husband was riding in as a passenger. Since the statute does not protect the consumer after 12 years, after which the manufacturer holds no liability, why then are these vehicles allowed to be used commercially, endangering the lives of so many people? We need to get this law repealed.
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