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Phone: 419-843-2424
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Statute of Limitations for Product Liability

In Arizona, product liability suits brought under the theories of strict liability or negligence must be filed within two years after the cause of action occurred. A.R.S. §§ 12-551, 12-542. A "cause of action" does not occur until the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered that they were injured by the defendant's conduct. Kenyon v. Hammer, 142 Ariz. 69, 688 P.2d 961 (1984); Anson v. American Motors Corp. 155 Ariz. 420, 747 P.2d 581 (App.1987). If you do not file a lawsuit within this time, you cannot sue.

If the lawsuit is based on contract law, as in the case of a breach of warranty, you must file it within six years after the cause of action occurred. A.R.S. § 12-548. Similar to strict liability and negligence cases, a "cause of action" here does not occur until the plaintiff discovers, or should have discovered, that there was a breach of contract. Gust, Rosenfeld & Henderson v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 182 Ariz. 586,898 P.2d 964 (1995). If you do not file a lawsuit within this time, you cannot sue.

In addition to typical statutes of limitations, state legislatures have also enacted special statutes of limitations for certain types of actions to put outside time limits on certain types of lawsuits. These are referred to as statutes of repose. Statutes of repose typically place an outside limit (usually 10, 15 or 20 years) on certain types of lawsuits, regardless of when the injury is discovered. In Arizona, injured victims cannot file a product liability suit if the product was sold 12 years before the injury. A.R.S. § 12 - 551. The legislative purpose behind this law is to prevent increased insurance rates and promote new product development by manufacturers. Carr v. Beech Aircraft Corp., 758 F. Supp. 1330 (D. Ariz. 1991).

In product liability cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, document the chain of custody of the product in question, and to enable engineers or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate the product and your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a product of any kind, call D. Lee Johnson & Associates now at 419-843-2424 or CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. Don't delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.

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