Can Judgments be Overturned? Evenflo Big Kid Boosters a Case in Point
Posted on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022
A recent case regarding car seats serves as a good reminder that not all decisions are final when it comes to the U.S. justice system. A court decision can be overturned and a case revived when an appeal is raised – as has been the case in the current court debacle with baby product manufacturer Evenflo Company Inc.
The 1st U.S. Court of Appeals recently ruled that a judge’s conclusion that consumers in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) had no grounds to sue Evenflo was wrong, and interest in the case was rekindled – not just in the courts, but also in the media.
The circumstances around the Evenflo case illustrate the relentless pursuit of justice and how the legal system often works to correct itself when legal problems arise. It also illustrates how the thought processes of judges differ from one court to the next.
In this case, Evenflo manufactures and sells a car seat called the Big Kid booster seat. The company claims to have conducted extensive testing the manufacture and design of the seat. However, parents allege that the company has mislead the public about the seat’s safety by not doing sufficient side impact testing, and by failing to warn parents that the seat should not be used by children under 40 pounds. T
These parents recently took Evenflo to court over the matter, but the allegations against the company were dismissed by a judge in January.
While the company appeared to be in the clear, the “show wasn’t over,” as it were. An appeal against the decision recently surfaced, with a showdown ensuing between Boston’s 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Evenflo.
Time will tell whether the tables have been turned for the company or the plaintiffs. What this does illustrate is that, when it comes to justice, it’s not always as clear as “case closed.”
According to Reuters, Evenflo will now have to face Big Kid booster seat safety litigation and, like so many other cases involving dangerous products, the company will have to answer some tough questions in court. Juries will now determine if they are liable for the injuries and deaths they allegedly caused. The company still has not been held liable for the injuries, but thanks to the appeal, the case will now move forward. Hopefully a jury will be able to determine if the corporation is responsible.
Appellate courts are a final effort for some and a second chance for others – for both plaintiffs and defendants. For now, the show is not over for parents seeking justice against Evenflo, and it will be interesting to see what happens next.