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50-State Survey of Statutes of Limitations and Repose in Prescription Product Liability Cases*

* This article relates to personal injury limitations; there may be different limitations periods for other product liability claims (e.g., those that sound in warranty or fraud).

Statutes of limitations and statutes of repose both set specific time limitations on product liability claims. However, they operate differently.

The statute of limitations governs the time within which a lawsuit may be filed after the cause of action accrues. The limitations period varies by state, ranging from one to six years. Most states recognize the discovery rule, which can toll accrual of a claim and often requires a fact-intensive inquiry. Only five states do not recognize the discovery rule.

Although less common, statutes of repose tend to operate from a date that is not related to when a plaintiff’s claim accrues. Instead, a statute of repose is triggered by the manufacturer’s pertinent action, for example, the date of sale or delivery of the drug or device. Statutes of repose generally are not subject to a discovery rule. That means that a claim could potentially be barred by a repose period before a plaintiff suffers injury or becomes aware of an alleged product defect or breach of duty. Where there is an applicable statute of repose, it has the potential to provide for a quick dismissal of a plaintiff’s untimely claims.

Alabama

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Ala. Code § 6-2-38(l). Alabama does not recognize the discovery rule. Rather, the limitations period “begins to run ‘when there has occurred a manifest, present injury,’ which means there are ‘observable signs or symptoms . . . the existence of which is medically identifiable.’” Newton v. Ethicon, Inc., No. 3:20-cv-00021-ALB-JTA, 2020 WL 1802927 (M.D. Ala., Apr. 8, 2020) (quoting Griffin v. Unocal Corp., 990 So. 2d 291, 310 (Ala. 2008)).

Statute of Repose: None. The Supreme Court held that a 10-year statute of repose was unconstitutional in Lankford v. Sullivan, 416 So. 2d 996 (1982).

Alaska

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Alaska Stat. § 09.10.070(a). Alaska recognizes the discovery rule, which provides that “a claim accrues when the plaintiff has information which is sufficient to alert a reasonable person to begin an inquiry to protect his rights.” Makin v. Pfizer, Inc., 144 F. App’x 648, 649 (9th Cir. 2005) (cleaned up).

Statute of Repose: None. See Alaska Stat. § 09.10.055(b)(1)(e).

Arizona

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 12-551, 12-542. Arizona applies the discovery rule, meaning that the cause of action does not accrue “until the plaintiff knows or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should know the facts underlying the cause.” Roulston v. Foree Tire Co., Inc., No. 88–2691, 1990 WL 35216, at *3 (9th Cir. Mar. 29, 1990). The plaintiff must know that the product was somehow causally connected to his injuries. Murrell v. Wyeth, Inc., No. CV-13-0290-PHX-DGC, 2013 WL 1882193, at *3 (D. Ariz. May 3, 2013). This connection must be such “that a reasonable person would be on notice to investigate whether the injury might result from fault.” Id.

Statute of Repose: None. The Supreme Court held that the statute of repose was unconstitutional in Hazine v. Montgomery Elevator Co., 861 P. 2d 625 (Ariz. 1993).

Arkansas

Statute of Limitations: 3 Years. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-116-203. Arkansas applies the discovery rule, such that a claim does not accrue until the plaintiff becomes aware—or, by reasonable diligence, should have become aware—of his condition, including the injury and its probable causal connection to the product. Uhiren v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 346 F.3d 824 (8th Cir. 2003).

Statute of Repose: None. See Brown v. Overhead Door Corp., 843 F. Supp. 482, 490 (W.D. Ark. 1994).

California

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 340.8. California applies the discovery rule, delaying accrual until the plaintiff “has, or should have inquiry notice of the cause of action.”  Fox v. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., 35 Cal. 4th 797 (2005); see Bekins v. AstraZeneca Pharm. LP, 739 F. App’x 884, 886 (9th Cir. 2018); See, e.g., Villarreal v. Am. Med. Sys., Inc., No. CV201641PSGPLAX, 2020 WL 4390372 (C.D. Cal. May 6, 2020) (noting that, in pelvic mesh cases, the statute of limitations begins on the date of a second corrective procedure occurring shortly after the initial mesh procedure).

Statute of Repose: None. See McCann v. Foster Wheeler LLC, 225 P.3d 516, 529 (Cal. 2010) (stating that the statute of repose is not applicable to personal injury actions).

Colorado

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-80-106(1), 13-80-102. Colorado applies the discovery rule, which triggers the limitations period “on the date both the injury and its cause are known or should have been known by the exercise of reasonable diligence.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-108(1).

Statute of Repose: There is a presumption of non-defectiveness 10 years after the product is first sold for use or consumption. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-403(3).

Connecticut

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-577a(a). Connecticut applies the discovery rule; therefore, a cause of action does not accrue until the injury is “discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered.” Id.

Statute of Repose: 10 years. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-577a.

Delaware

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. 10 Del. Code Ann. §§ 8119, 8107. Delaware applies the discovery rule, thereby tolling the statute of limitations until the plaintiff discovers, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered, her injury. Burrell v. Astrazeneca LP, No. CIV.A. 07C01412(SER), 2010 WL 3706584, at *5–6 (Del. Super. Ct. Sept. 20, 2010) (distinguishing this “inquiry notice” standard from the “actual notice” standard).

Statute of Repose: None

District of Columbia (D.C.)

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. D.C. Code § 12–301.Washington, D.C. courts’ application of the discovery rule delays a claim from accruing until the plaintiff has knowledge, or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have knowledge, of the existence of his injury, the injury’s cause in fact, and some evidence of wrongdoing. Kubicki v. Medtronic, Inc., 293 F. Supp. 3d 129, 158 (D.D.C. 2018) (further stating that an injured plaintiff has an obligation to investigate the possibility of a claim).

Statute of Repose: None.

Florida

Statute of Limitations: 4 years. Fla. Stat. § 95.11(3). Florida applies the discovery rule, thereby triggering accrual on “the date that the facts giving rise to the cause of action were discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence.” Fla. Stat. § 95.031(2)(b).

Statute of Repose: 12 years after delivery of the drug/device, with exceptions for latent disease or injury and fraudulent concealment. Fla. Stat. § 95.031(2)(b).

Georgia

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-33. Georgia applies the discovery rule only in cases involving a “continuing tort,” thereby delaying accrual until the plaintiff discovers, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered, both that he has been injured and that the defendant may have caused his injury. See Bell v. C.B. Fleet Holding Co., Inc., No. 1:07-CV-84-GET, 2008 WL 11336406, at *3 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 15, 2008) (citing King v. Seitzingers, Inc., 160 Ga. App. 318, 320 (1981)).

Statute of Repose: 10 years “from the date of first sale for use or consumption of the drug/device.” Ga. Code Ann. § 51-1-11(b)(2).

Hawaii

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 657-7. Hawaii applies the discovery rule, so the limitations period begins to run on the date the plaintiff knew or should have known that the defendant’s action caused her injury. See Yamaguchi v. Queen’s Medical Center, 65 Haw. 84, 89–91 (1982); Thomas v. Colonial Penn Ins. Co., 26 F. App’x 687, 689 (9th Cir. 2002).

Statute of Repose: None.

Idaho

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Idaho Code §§ 6-1403(3), 5-219. Idaho does not recognize the discovery rule; rather, the statute dictates that an action accrues when the act or omission complained of occurs. Idaho Code § 5-219(4). The Idaho Supreme Court has further stated that a negligence claim does not accrue until “some damage” has occurred because damage is an element of a plaintiff’s claim. See Cosgrove v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 117 Idaho 470, 475 (1989); Reynolds v. Trout Jones Gledhill Fuhrman, P.A., 154 Idaho 21, 24 (2013).

Statute of Repose: An action may not be commenced after the expiration of the product’s “useful safe life.” Idaho Code § 6-1403. There is a rebuttable presumption that injury “caused more than ten (10) years after time of delivery” occurred after product’s safe life. Id.

Illinois

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/13-213. Illinois applies the discovery rule, which postpones the commencement of the limitations period until the plaintiff knows, or through exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, that she was injured and that her injury was “wrongfully caused.” Cochran v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 260 F. Supp. 3d 979, 983 (C.D. Ill. 2017); See Dahms v. Coloplast Corp., No. 19 C 6349, 2020 WL 5593279 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 18, 2020).

Statute of Repose: A cause of action must be commenced within the shorter of 10 years from the date of first sale, delivery, or lease to the initial consumer, or other non-seller; or 12 years from the date of any first sale, lease, or delivery of possession by a seller. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/13-213(b). Section 213(d) imposes an 8-year bar to strict liability personal injury actions, running from the date of injury. 753 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/13-213(d); see Stark v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 18 CV 06609, 2020 WL 1914767, at *5 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 20, 2020).

Indiana

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Ind. Code §§ 34-11-2-4, 34-20-3-1. Indiana’s application of the discovery rule means that a claim accrues when the plaintiff discovers, or in the exercise of ordinary diligence could have discovered, that his injury was caused by the tortious act of another. See Wehling v. Citizens Nat’l Bank, 586 N.E.2d 840, 842–43 (Ind. 1992) (extending the discovery rule to all tort claims). “[A] person knows or should have discovered the cause of his injury when he has or should have discovered some evidence that there was a reasonable possibility that his injury was caused by the act or product of another.” Evenson v. Osmose Wood Preserving Co., 899 F.2d 701, 705 (7th Cir. 1990).

Statute of Repose: A cause of action must be commenced within 2 years of accrual or within 10 years after the delivery of the product. If the cause of action accrues at least 8 years but less than 10 years after delivery, the action may be commenced at any time within 2 years after accrual. Ind. Code § 34-20-3-1; see In re Cook Med., Inc., IVC Filters Mktg., Sales Practices & Prod. Liab. Litig., No. 114ML02570RLYTAB, 2020 WL 1532132, at *3 (S.D. Ind. Mar. 31, 2020).

Iowa

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Iowa Code § 614.1(2). Iowa applies the discovery rule, meaning that an action accrues “when the person is aware ‘a problem’ may be present with the product requiring ‘diligent investigation’ and such an investigation ‘would have revealed the existence of the defect.’” Farrand v. Stryker Corp., No. 4:13-CV-00443-RAW, 2014 WL 11514684, at *9 (S.D. Iowa Nov. 12, 2014) (quoting Buechel v. Five Star Quality Care, Inc., 745 N.W.2d 732, 738 (Iowa 2008)).

Statute of Repose: 15 years from the date on which “the product was first purchased, leased, bailed, or installed for use by the manufacturer.” Iowa Code §§ 614.1(2A); see Albrecht v. GMC, 648 N.W.2d 87, 95 (Iowa 2002).

Kansas

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-513(a). Kansas applies the discovery rule, so “the statute of limitations starts to run ‘at the time a negligent act causes injury if both the act and the resulting injury are reasonably ascertainable by the injured person.’” Spicer v. New Image Int’l, Inc., No. CIV.A.04-2184-KHV, 2007 WL 38026, at *2 (D. Kan. Jan. 4, 2007) (quoting Moon v. City of Lawrence, 267 Kan. 720, 727 (1999)).

Statute of Repose: There is a rebuttable presumption that a product’s “useful safe life” expires 10 years after delivery. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-3303(a).

Kentucky

Statute of Limitations: 1 year. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.140(1)(a). Kentucky applies the discovery rule, delaying accrual until the plaintiff discovers, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered, both that he has been injured and that his injury may have been caused by the defendant. Louisville Tr. Co. v. Johns-Manville Prod. Corp., 580 S.W.2d 497, 501 (Ky. 1979); see Cutter v. Ethicon, Inc., No. CV 5:19-443-DCR, 2020 WL 109809, at *5 (E.D. Ky. Jan. 9, 2020).

Statute of Repose: There is a rebuttable presumption that a product was not defective if injury occurs more than 5 years after the sale date or more than 8 years after manufacture. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 411.310.

Louisiana

Statute of Limitations: 1 year. La. Civ. Code Ann. § 3492 (“prescriptive period”). Louisiana applies the doctrine of contra non valentem, otherwise known as the discovery rule. This doctrine states that prescription is delayed until the plaintiff has actual or constructive knowledge of a causal relationship between the device/drug and his injury. See In re Taxotere (Docetaxel) Prod. Liab. Litig., No. 16-15607, 2019 WL 2995897, at *2 (E.D. La. July 9, 2019), reconsideration denied, No. 16-CV-15607, 2020 WL 375597 (E.D. La. Jan. 23, 2020).

Statute of Repose: None.

Maine

Statute of Limitations: 6 years. 14 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 752. Maine does not recognize the discovery rule in drug/device cases. The action accrues “when a wrongful act is coupled with an injury, no matter how slight.” Williams v. Ford Motor Co., 342 A.2d 712, 716 (Me. 1975); see Novak v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, 287 F. Supp. 3d 85, 93 (D. Me. 2018) (stating that the limitations began to run, at latest, when the plaintiff began to experience pain, vaginal leaking, and vaginal bleeding following her operation).

Statute of Repose: None.

Maryland

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101. Maryland’s recognition of the discovery rule delays accrual until “the plaintiff knows or through the exercise of due diligence, should know of injury, its probable cause, and either manufacturer wrongdoing or product defect.” Pennwalt Corp. v. Nasios, 550 A.2d 1155, 1165 (Md. 1988).

Statute of Repose: None.

Massachusetts

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 260 § 2A. Massachusetts applies the discovery rule. The limitations period begins to run “when a plaintiff discovers, or any earlier date when she should reasonably have discovered, that she has been harmed or may have been harmed by the defendant’s conduct.” Bowen v. Eli Lilly & Co., 557 N.E.2d 739, 741 (Mass. 1990). A plaintiff must have “(1) knowledge or sufficient notice that she was harmed and (2) knowledge or sufficient notice of what the cause of harm was.” Id. at 742.

Statute of Repose: None.

Michigan

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(2), (12). Michigan does not recognize the discovery rule, and the action accrues when the wrong occurs. See Trentadue v. Gorton, 479 Mich. 378, 407 (2007); Good v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., No. 15-CV-10133, 2015 WL 8175256, at *3 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 8, 2015) (finding that the limitations period began when the plaintiff began experiencing symptoms two months after her surgery); Smith v. Stryker Corp., No. 294916, 2011 WL 445646, at *1 (Mich. Ct. App. Feb. 8, 2011) (finding that harm occurred and the claim accrued upon use of the device).

Statute of Repose: None, though after a product “has been in use for not less than 10 years, the plaintiff, in proving a prima facie case, must do so without the benefit of any presumption.” Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5805(12).

Minnesota

Statute of Limitations: Strict liability claims are subject to a 4-year limitation period. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 541.05(2). Negligence claims are subject to a 6-year limitation period. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 541.05(5). Minnesota applies the discovery rule, under which “two elements must be present for a cause of action to accrue for injuries related to a defective product: 1) a cognizable manifestation of the disease or injury, and 2) evidence of a causal connection between the injury or disease and the defendant’s product, act or omission.” Klempka v. G.D. Searle and Co., 769 F. Supp. 1061, 1065 (D. Minn. 1991).

Statute of Repose: None, but Section 604.03 provides an affirmative defense for injuries occurring after “the expiration of the ordinary useful life of the product”—which is a jury issue.

Mississippi

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49. Mississippi codified the discovery rule, providing that an action “does not accrue until the plaintiff has discovered, or by reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury.” Id.; see Bryant v. Wyeth, Inc., 816 F. Supp. 2d 329 (S.D. Miss. 2011), aff’d, 487 F. App’x 207 (5th Cir. 2012).

Statute of Repose: None.

Missouri

Statute of Limitations: 5 years. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.120. Missouri codified the discovery rule: “[T]he cause of action shall not be deemed to accrue when the wrong is done or the technical breach of contract or duty occurs, but when the damage resulting therefrom is sustained and is capable of ascertainment.” Mo. Ann. Stat. § 516.100. The Missouri Supreme Court defined “capable of ascertainment” as when “the evidence [is] such to place a reasonably prudent person on notice of a potentially actionable injury.” Powel v. Chaminade Coll. Preparatory, Inc., 197 S.W.3d 576, 582 (Mo. 2006) (emphasis removed); see Levitt v. Merck & Co., Inc., 914 F.3d 1169, 1174 (8th Cir. 2019) (analyzing Missouri precedent on the “capable of ascertainment” standard).

Statute of Repose: None.

Montana

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. Mont. Code Ann. § 27-2-204. Montana applies the discovery rule, so “the period of limitations does not begin to run until the injured party has discovered, or in the exercise of due diligence should have discovered, both the injury and its cause.” Christian v. Atl. Richfield Co., 380 Mont. 495, 524 (2014); see Thompson v. Neb. Mobile Homes Corp., 647 P.2d 334, 338 (Mont. 1982).

Statute of Repose: None.

Nebraska

Statute of Limitations: 4 years. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-224(1). Nebraska applies the discovery rule, and where it applies “the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the potential plaintiff discovers, or with reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury.” Kraft v. St. John Lutheran Church, 414 F.3d 943, 946–947 (8th Cir. 2005).

Statute of Repose: If the product is manufactured in Nebraska, the statute of repose is 10 years. If the product is manufactured outside of Nebraska, the foreign state’s statute of repose applies, but is not less than 10 years. If the foreign state does not have a statute of repose, then no statute of repose applies. Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 25-224(2), 25-225; see King v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 8:13CV290, 2016 WL 7469749 (D. Neb. Aug. 19, 2016).

Nevada

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 11.190(4)(e); see Ridenour v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharm., Inc., 679 F.3d 1062, 1068 (8th Cir. 2012). Nevada applies the discovery rule, whereby the statutory period of limitations is tolled until the injured party discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, facts supporting a cause of action. Petersen v. Bruen, 106 Nev. 271 (1990).

Statute of Repose: None.

New Hampshire

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508:4. New Hampshire applies the discovery rule, which delays accrual until “the plaintiff discovers, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury and its causal relationship to the act or omission complained of.” N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508:4; See Lampron v. Johnson & Johnson & Ethicon, Inc., No. 20-CV-317-JD, 2020 WL 3452150 (D.N.H. June 24, 2020).

Statute of Repose: None. The Supreme Court deemed the statute of repose unconstitutional in Heath v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 123 N.H. 512 (1983).

New Jersey

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. N.J. Stat. Ann. 2A:14-2.  New Jersey applies the discovery rule, under which the statute of limitations does not begin to run “until the injured party discovers, or by an exercise of reasonable diligence and intelligence should have discovered that he may have a basis for an actionable claim.” Lopez v. Swyer, 62 N.J. 267, 272 (1973).

Statute of Repose: None.

New Mexico

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 37-1-8. New Mexico applies the discovery rule, so the three-year statute of limitations “commences when a plaintiff knows, or reasonably should know through diligent inquiry, that he or she has been injured.” Martinez v. Showa Denko, K.K., 125 N.M. 615, 620 (N.M. Ct. App. 1998).

Statute of Repose: None.

New York

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214.New York applies the discovery rule, thereby triggering accrual on “the date of discovery of the injury by the plaintiff or from the date when through the exercise of reasonable diligence such injury should have been discovered by the plaintiff, whichever is earlier.” N.Y. C.P.L.R. 214-c; see Gaillard v. Bayer Corp., 986 F. Supp. 2d 241, 246 (E.D.N.Y. 2013); In re Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) Hip Implant Prod. Liab. Litig., No. 1:17-MD-2775, 2018 WL 6067505, at *13 (D. Md. Nov. 19, 2018) (interpreting New York law).

Statute of Repose: None.

North Carolina

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-52(1)-(5). North Carolina applies the discovery rule, delaying accrual until the injury “becomes apparent or ought reasonably to have become apparent to the claimant, whichever event first occurs.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1–52(16); see Black v. Littlejohn, 312 N.C. 626, 645 (1985).

Statute of Repose: “12 years after the date of initial purchase for use or consumption.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-46.1.

North Dakota

Statute of Limitations: 6 years. N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-16. North Dakota applies the discovery rule to cases involving latent injuries. “Under the discovery rule, the action does not accrue and the limitations period does not begin to run until the claimant knows, or with reasonable diligence should know, that a potential claim exists.” BASF Corp. v. Symington, 512 N.W.2d 692, 695 (N.D. 1994).

Statute of Repose: None. The Supreme Court held that the statute of repose was unconstitutional in Dickie v. Farmers Union Oil Co., 611 N.W.2d 168 (N.D. 2000).

Ohio

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Ohio Rev. Code § 2305.10.  Ohio applies the discovery rule, and the cause of action accrues when the plaintiff is informed by competent medical authority that her injury was related to the exposure to the product, or when, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, the claimant should have known that her injury was related to the exposure to the product. Id.

Statute of Repose: 10 years from the date of delivery, and the discovery rule applies. Ohio Rev. Code § 2305.10.

Oklahoma

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. 12 Okla. Stat. § 95(3). “Oklahoma follows the discovery rule allowing limitations in tort cases to be tolled until the injured party knows or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of the injury.” Resolution Trust Corp. v. Grant, 901 P.2d 807, 813 (Okla. 1995); see Hammonds v. Bos. Sci., Inc., No. CIV-11-0663-HE, 2011 WL 13177632, at *2 (W.D. Okla. Aug. 8, 2011).

Statute of Repose: None.

Oregon

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Or. Rev. Stat. § 30.905. Oregon applies the discovery rule, delaying accrual until the plaintiff “discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, the personal injury . . . and the causal relationship between the injury . . . and the product, or the causal relationship between the injury . . . and the conduct of the defendant.” Id.

Statute of Repose: The later of 10 years after the product’s first purchase or the expiration of the statute of repose in the state of manufacture. Or. Rev. Stat. § 30.905.

Pennsylvania

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524. Pennsylvania applies the discovery rule, which tolls the running of the statute of limitations until the plaintiff knows or reasonably should know that he has been injured and that his injury has been caused by another party’s conduct. Crouse v. Cyclops Industries, 560 Pa. 394, 403–04 (2000); see Coleman v. Wyeth Pharm., Inc., 2010 Pa. Super. 158 (2010) (discussing the test’s flexibility to take into account the individual plaintiff’s characteristics and capacity with respect to reasonableness).

Statute of Repose: None.

Rhode Island

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-14 (b). Rhode Island applies the discovery rule, delaying accrual until the point when the plaintiff should have, with reasonable diligence, discovered the drug/device manufacturer’s wrongful conduct. Anthony v. Abbott Laboratories, 490 A.2d 43 (R.I. 1985); Esposito v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., 130 F. Supp. 3d 622, 627 (D.R.I. 2015).

Statute of Repose: None. The Supreme Court held that the statute of repose was unconstitutional in Kennedy v. Cumberland, 471 A.2d 195 (R.I. 1984).

South Carolina

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 15-3-530, 15-3-535. South Carolina applies the discovery rule, triggering accrual when the plaintiff “knew or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known that he had a cause of action.” S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-535; see Brugger v. C.R. Bard, Inc., No. 3:17-CV-0228-CMC, 2017 WL 3085749, at *3 (D.S.C. July 20, 2017).

Statute of Repose: None.

South Dakota

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-12.2. South Dakota applies the discovery rule, which delays the beginning of the limitation period until the injury “occurred, became known or should have become known to the injured party.” Id.

Statute of Repose: None.

Tennessee

Statute of Limitations: 1 year. Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104. Tennessee applies the discovery rule, delaying accrual until the injury is discovered, or when in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, it should have been discovered.” Gilmore v. Davis, 185 F. App’x 476, 481 (6th Cir. 2006); see Jones v. Davol, Inc., No. 3:18-CV-00182, 2018 WL 4369978, at *2 (E.D. Tenn. Sept. 12, 2018) (“[O]nce the injury is detected and wrongdoing is suspected, the limitations period begins to run.”).

Statute of Repose: An action must be brought within 6 years from date of injury, 10 years from date of first purchase, or 1 year after expiration of anticipated product life—whichever is shorter. Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-28-103; see Montgomery v. Wyeth, 580 F.3d 455 (6th Cir. 2009).

Texas

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003. Texas’s application of the discovery rule is dependent upon circumstances. Specifically, for the discovery rule to apply, “the nature of the injury must be inherently undiscoverable and the injury itself must be objectively verifiable.” Barker v. Eckman, 213 S.W.3d 306, 312 (Tex. 2006) (citing HECI Exploration Co. v. Neel, 982 S.W.2d 881, 886 (Tex. 1998)). Where applicable, the rule defers accrual of the claim “until the plaintiff knew or, exercising reasonable diligence, should have known of the facts giving rise to the cause of action.” Computer Assocs. Int’l, Inc. v. Altai, Inc., 918 S.W.2d 453, 455 (Tex. 1996); see also See Brandau v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., 439 F. App’x 317, 322 (5th Cir. 2011) (“[T]he Fifth Circuit applying Texas law has repeatedly held that the discovery rule defers the accrual of injuries resulting from implanted devices.”).

Statute of Repose: 15 years after the date of the sale by the defendant. Tex. Code Ann. § 16.012; see Methodist Healthcare Sys. of San Antonio v. Rankin, 307 S.W.3d 283 (Tex. 2010).

Utah

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Utah Code Ann. § 78B-6-706. Utah applies the discovery rule, tolling the commencement of the limitations period until the claimant “discovered, or in the exercise of due diligence should have discovered, both the harm and its cause.” Id.

Statute of Repose: None.

Vermont

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, § 512(4). Vermont recognizes the discovery rule, which “provides that the limitations clock does not begin running until the plaintiff knows or should know of the injury and its cause.” McLaren v. Gabel, 229 A.3d 422, 436 (Vt. 2020) (cleaned up).

Statute of Repose: None.

Virginia

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-243(A). Virginia does not recognize the discovery rule in prescription drug and product cases. See Va. Code Ann. § 8.01–230.  The limitations period begins on “the date the injury is sustained.” Id.; see Torkie-Tork v. Wyeth, 739 F. Supp. 2d 887, 891 (E.D. Va. 2010) (stating that only fraud claims are subject to the discovery rule under Virginia law).

Statute of Repose: None.

Washington

Statute of Limitations: 3 Years. Wash. Rev. Code § 7.72.060(3). Washington codified the discovery rule, dictating that the limitations period runs “from the time the claimant discovered or in the exercise of due diligence should have discovered the harm and its cause.” Id.; see N. Coast Air Servs., Ltd. v. Grumman Corp., 111 Wash. 2d 315, 327 (1988).

Statute of Repose: There is a rebuttable presumption that an injury occurring more than 12 years after delivery occurred after the expiration of the product’s useful, safe life. See Wash. Rev. Code § 7.72.060(1)-(2).

West Virginia

Statute of Limitations: 2 years. W. Va. Code § 55-2-12. West Virginia applies the discovery rule, which provides that a claim accrues when the plaintiff knows, or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, of the elements of her possible cause of action. Michael v. Wyeth, LLC, No. CIV.A. 2:04-0435, 2011 WL 2011480 (S.D.W. Va. May 23, 2011) (citing Dunn v. Rockwell, 225 W. Va. 43, 50 (2009)).

Statute of Repose: None.

Wisconsin

Statute of Limitations: 3 years. Wis. Stat. § 893.54. Wisconsin applies the discovery rule, under which “the statute of limitations begins to run when the potential plaintiff discovers the injury, or in the exercise of due diligence should have discovered the injury.” S.J.D. v. Mentor Corp.,159 Wis. 2d 261, 265–66 (Ct. App. 1990).

Statute of Repose: 15 years from manufacture date for strict liability claims, but with exceptions for latent disease. Wis. Stat. § 895.047.

Wyoming

Statute of Limitations: 4 years. Wyo. Stat. § 1-3-105(a).  Wyoming applies the discovery rule, delaying accrual of a plaintiff’s claims until he “knows or reasonably ought to know that some damage has resulted from the wrongful act.” Ogle v. Caterpillar Tractor Co., 716 P.2d 334, 337 (Wyo. 1986); see Tolman v. Stryker Corp., 926 F. Supp. 2d 1255, 1259 (D. Wyo. 2013).

Statute of Repose: None.

Finis