Statutes of Limitations in Products Liability Cases

A plaintiff in each state must bring an action within a certain period of time prescribed in the state’s statute of limitations. In most states, the time period begins when the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered his or her injury, under what is known as the discovery rule. A few states begin this time period when the injury actually occurred. Some states have also enacted statutes of repose, which bar actions that are not brought within a specified period of time after some event has occurred, such as the initial sale of a product.

ALABAMA: An action must be brought within one year from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered.

ALASKA: An action must be brought within two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered.

ARIZONA: An action must be brought within two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered. The state has enacted a 12-year statute of repose that begins to run once the product is first sold. The statute of repose does not apply to actions based on negligence or breach of warranty.

ARKANSAS: An action must be brought within three years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered.

CALIFORNIA: An action must be brought within two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered.

COLORADO: An action must be brought within two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered.

CONNECTICUT: An action must be brought within two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered. The state has enacted a 10-year statute of repose that begins to run once the manufacturer or seller has last parted with the product.

DELAWARE: An action must be brought within two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: An action must be brought within three years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered.

FLORIDA: An action must be brought within two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered. The state has enacted a 12-year statute of repose, subject to various exceptions.

GEORGIA: An action must be brought within two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered or one year from the date in which death has occurred. The state has enacted a 10-year statute of repose, subject to various exceptions.

HAWAII: An action must be brought within two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered.

IDAHO: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. The state has enacted a 10-year statute of repose, subject to various exceptions.

ILLINOIS: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. The state has enacted a 12-year statute of repose that begins to run once the product is sold and a 10-year statute of repose that begins to run once the product is delivered to the first owner.

INDIANA: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. The state has enacted a 10-year statute of repose.

IOWA: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

KANSAS: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

KENTUCKY: An action must be brought within one year from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. If injury, death, or property damage does not occur within eight years of the product’s use, then this creates a rebuttable presumption that the product does not contain a defect.

LOUISIANA: An action must be brought within one year from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. This statute does not apply to minors.

MAINE: An action must be brought within six years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

MARYLAND: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

MASSACHUSETTS: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

MICHIGAN: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. If a product is in use for more than 10 years, then liability cannot be based on strict liability.

MINNESOTA: An action must be brought within four years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

MISSISSIPPI: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

MISSOURI: An action must be brought within five years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

MONTANA: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

NEBRASKA: An action must be brought within four years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. The state has enacted a 10-year statute of repose, which begins to run from the date in which a product is first sold.

NEVADA: An action must be brought within four years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place, except where a legal duty has been imposed by the government, in which case the action must be brought within six years. The state has enacted a 12-year statute of repose, which begins to run once the product is manufactured and sold.

NEW JERSEY: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

NEW MEXICO: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

NEW YORK: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

NORTH CAROLINA: An action must be brought within six years from the date of the initial purchase.

NORTH DAKOTA: An action must be brought within 10 years from the date of the initial purchase or within 11 years of the date of manufacture.

OHIO: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

OKLAHOMA: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

OREGON: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. The state has enacted an eight-year statute of repose.

PENNSYLVANIA: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

RHODE ISLAND: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

SOUTH CAROLINA: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

SOUTH DAKOTA: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. The state has enacted a six-year statute of repose, which begins to run after purchase.

TENNESSEE: An action must be brought within four years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. The state has enacted a statute of repose that runs six years after an injury and 10 years after the initial purchase of a product.

TEXAS: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

UTAH: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

VERMONT: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

VIRGINIA: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

WASHINGTON: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place. The state has enacted a 12-year statute of repose.

WEST VIRGINIA: An action must be brought within two years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

WISCONSIN: An action must be brought within three years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.

WYOMING: An action must be brought within four years from the date in which the occurrence of the injury took place.


Inside Statutes of Limitations in Products Liability Cases