The California Supreme Court is evaluating a challenging case involving prenatal exposure to toxic chemicals, and the applicable statute of limitations. In Lopez v. Sony Electronics, Dominique Lopez allegedly suffered prenatal exposure to chemicals. She now has permanent injuries and birth defects. The original law suit was filed when Dominque was 12, and on appeal, the California’s second district found that the statute of limitations barred the action.
In general, pursuant to section 340.4 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) civil lawsuits for pre-natal and birth injuries must be brought within six years. However, Lopez disagreed, and through her mother and guardian ad litem argued that CCP section 340.8 - is applicable instead. This section governs exposure to toxic and hazardous materials, and provides that where injuries due to exposure occur prenatally, the limitations period can be suspended until the plaintiff turns 18. A recent case considered by the Sixth District Court of Appeals considered a similar case two years ago and determined that where toxic exposure causes the birth injury, CCP 340.8 applies, and replaces the 6 year statute of limitations.
As California birth injury attorneys fighting to protect access to justice, we will be following this case closely.For more information, please contact the dedicated San Francisco birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson LLP.