If you sustained an injury due to a defective product, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Subject to a few exceptions discussed in this blog post, an injured party has two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. Bensinger Legal Services can help.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A “statute of limitations” is a law that sets a time limit on how long a party has to go to court to start legal proceedings.
Once the statute of limitations passes, filing a claim is no longer possible. Regardless of the strength of your case, if you miss the statute of limitations deadline, you cannot bring the lawsuit.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Product Liability in Ohio?
Ohio has specific statutes of limitations governing different types of claims. These laws place a time limit on filing claims.
Under Ohio law, a product liability claim is a legal action to recover damages from a manufacturer or supplier of a defective product.
The injuries must have arisen because the product:
- Was poorly designed, formulated, constructed, assembled, repaired, or tested;
- Was deceptively or fraudulently marketed;
- Lacked sufficient warnings;
- Lacked sufficient warnings for safe use; or
- Failed to fulfill a warranty.
If you have a product liability claim, the cause of action accrues when the injury or loss occurs.
Two-Year Statute of Limitations
Ohio’s product liability statute of limitations is two years from the date on which the cause of action accrues.
A plaintiff must file product liability suits brought under strict liability or negligence within two years after the cause of action accrues.
A cause of action does not accrue until the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered that the defendant’s conduct injured them.
Four-Year Statute of Limitations
A plaintiff must bring a product liability claim based on a breach of warranty within four years after the cause of action occurred.
A breach of warranty claim alleges that the product did not conform to a representation or warranty for the product.
Determining the Start Date in Special Cases
A significant exception to the two-year Ohio product liability statute of limitations applies in cases where the injury from a defective product is difficult to pinpoint.
These cases usually involve exposure to a defective product that causes bodily injury over time. In such cases, the deadline for filing a product liability lawsuit is calculated from the date of diagnosis.
When this exception applies, you could have more than two years to file your claim.
To benefit from this extension, you must demonstrate that despite your efforts, you did not realize that your injury was related to exposure to the product.
Ohio law identifies specific situations where this extended accrual date applies:
- Exposure to asbestos;
- Exposure to hazardous or toxic chemicals, prescription drugs, or medical devices;
- Exposure to chromium;
- Exposure to chemical defoliants, herbicides, or other causative agents, including Agent Orange; and
- Exposure to diethylstilbestrol or other nonsteroidal synthetic estrogens, including before birth.
The special rule can stop the product liability statute of limitations in Ohio from running until the date a “competent medical authority” informed you that you have an injury caused by particular substances or devices.
Or the time can begin running on the date you should have reasonably been aware that your injury was caused by the substance or device, whichever date occurs first.
Statute of Repose
In addition to considering the applicable statute of limitations, you must consider the statute of repose.
A statute of repose extinguishes the right to bring an action after a specified period of time no matter when you suffered or discovered your injury.
The starting date for the statute of repose is the day on which the product found its way to the end-user.
In Ohio, the general rule is that a plaintiff cannot file a product liability claim more than 10 years after the injured party purchased the product that caused the injury.
However, the statute of repose is not absolute.
There are exceptions in cases of fraud, express warranties exceeding 10 years, disability to the plaintiff, occurrences prior to the expiration of the statute of repose, and asbestos bodily injury cases.
Injured by a Product Defect? Contact an Ohio Product Liability Lawyer for Help
If you believe you have a legal claim based on product liability, contact attorney Aaron Bensinger. He will be able to advise you on the applicable statute of limitations for product liability.
If you need to bring a claim, filing sooner than later will save you from any statute of limitations issues.
Aaron Bensinger has extensive experience guiding clients through the entire civil litigation process.
His experience includes obtaining favorable jury verdicts in both California and Ohio.
He has secured hundreds of thousands of dollars for his clients and can pursue the compensation you deserve for your injury due to a defective product.