Recently my 1998 Mercury Sable (w/ 57,000 miles on it) spontaneously burst into flame while it was parked and off in front of my house. The car was destroyed by the fire, but there was no personal injury or other property damage (aside from an umbrella that was in the car). I am thinking of filling a suit in small claims court to recover the cost of the vehicle, but am concerned about 2 things I've read about that might invalidate my case. 1) Economic Loss Doctrine - since the only thing I lost in the fire was the car (and the umbrella). 2) Statute of limitations on Implied Warranty (4 years from date of sale in the state of Texas).
Are these valid arguments against my claim? Is there anything else I can base a claim on?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Are you thinking about suing the seller? If it's been a while since you bought the car, it would be difficult for you to convince a jury that something HE (the seller) did caused the fire - his defense is, "I haven't even seen this car in the past two years - the buyer drove it all that time, and nothing happened - and now it bursts into flames, and he wants to blame ME."
Don't file a lawuit unless you have a reason to believe that something the seller did caused the fire.