LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against a real estate firm from the family of a central Arkansas woman who was kidnapped and murdered while working there.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled Thursday that the wrongful-death lawsuit missed the statute of limitations. The ruling said the deadline expired Sept. 26, 2017, exactly three years after Beverly Carter died Sept. 26, 2014, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported .
Carter’s family filed the lawsuit Sept. 29, 2017, alleging that Crye-Leike of Arkansas knew the real estate agent faced “life-threatening” dangers at work but never trained her for them. The lawsuit said the firm had a duty to protect independent contractors and have them use technology like GPS tracking to alert authorities if they were in an unsafe situation on the job.
Carter disappeared after going to show a home to Arron Lewis and Crystal Lowery, who posed as clients to kidnap her for ransom. Carter, 50, was killed the next day when the plan fell apart. Police pronounced her dead after finding her remains in the woods days later.
Lewis is serving two life terms after a 2016 conviction on capital murder and kidnapping charges. Lowery was sentenced to 30 years in prison for first-degree murder and kidnapping after testifying against Lewis.
Family attorney Bryce Brewer argued the statute of limitations to file the lawsuit expired three years after the day Carter was pronounced dead, which was Sept. 30, 2014, according to court documents.
But Crye-Leike said in a motion for summary judgment that the facts of the case and testimony from Lewis and Lowery shows Carter died Sept. 26.
The real estate firm also said Carter’s death was caused by actions outside Crye-Leike’s control, and that Carter set up her own appointments with clients instead of through the firm.
Brewer didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com
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