PA 17-97—HB 7194

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING EXCEPTIONS TO THE TEN-YEAR REPOSE PERIOD FOR CERTAIN PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIMS

SUMMARY: This act extends the time a person has to bring a product liability lawsuit in certain situations involving workplace injuries.

Existing law establishes a 10-year repose period that generally bars a product liability lawsuit against a party (e.g., the manufacturer) more than 10 years after that party last had possession or control of the product, unless the claimant can prove that the harm occurred during the product's useful safe life. Under prior law, this useful safe life exception did not apply to claimants entitled to workers' compensation coverage. The act eliminates this prohibition, thus allowing a claimant entitled to workers' compensation to bring a lawsuit after the 10-year repose period under the useful safe life exception.

Under existing law and unchanged by the act, (1) the 10-year repose period can be extended pursuant to an express written warranty and (2) a longer repose period applies to asbestos-related claims.

By law, in addition to the time limitations noted above, a product liability claimant generally must bring a lawsuit within three years of the date the injury or damage was first sustained or discovered, or should have been discovered in exercising reasonable care.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017