The little known concept of statutes of repose can further restrict your ability to get compensation under statutes of limitations. Most everyone is familiar with the concept of statute of limitations. But many in the general public have never heard of the statute of repose. The two are similar in that they each limit the amount of time that legal proceedings based on a particular event can be initiated. But a statute of repose takes a statute of limitations further, limiting the time allowed under the statute of limitation and in some cases, barring a claim being brought altogether.
Product liability cases in Florida are subject to both statutes of limitations and statutes of repose, often called non-claim statutes. Products liability law allows victims to bring legal action for injuries caused by the defective design, manufacture, distribution, or sale of personal property.
Here in the Sunshine State, the statute of limitation for products liability cases is four years from the date the victim knew or should have reasonably known that his or he injuries were caused by the product in question, unless a death results from a defective product. In such cases, Florida’s Wrongful Death Act imposes a two-year statute of limitations.
However, the statute of repose can further limit a victim’s ability to secure financial compensation for his or her injuries, depending upon when the product was originally made or sold. Florida’s statute of repose provides that “under no circumstances may a claimant commence an action for products liability, including a wrongful death action or any other claim arising from personal injury or property damage caused by a product, to recover for harm allegedly caused by a product with an expected useful life of 10 years or less, if the harm was caused by exposure to or use of the product more than 12 years after delivery of the product to its first purchaser or lessee who was not engaged in the business of selling or leasing the product or of using the product as a component in the manufacture of another product.” Thus, if the defective product that caused injury to you or your dependents originally was made or sold to the final retailer before 2000, you may be unable to secure compensation.
In any products liability case, time is of the essence. Contact an experienced product liability lawyer with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.