What is a products liability statute of repose?

Most people are familiar with the concept of the statute of limitations, which establishes the time limit within which a person must commence legal action after either the occurrence of the injury, or the plaintiff’s discovery of the injury if it was not apparent at the time when it was inflicted. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a products liability lawsuit is two years.

The statute of limitations in Texas for products liability must be considered in connection with a second statute, which is known as a statute of repose. Texas is one of a number of states that imposes an additional time limit on products liability actions. Instead of using the date of injury or when the plaintiff discovered the injury, the statute of repose requires that any products liability lawsuit must be initiated no later than 15 years after the date on which the defendant sold the product.

The purpose of a statute of repose is to prevent what could amount to a form of unlimited liability of the seller or manufacturer by establishing what may be considered as a default lifespan for the use of that product. The 15-year period of the statute of repose can be extended under certain specific circumstances, such as when the manufacturer or seller has a written warranty on the product stating that its useful life is longer than 15 years or if the symptoms of the plaintiff’s injury or illness did not manifest themselves before the end of the 15 year period.

In any products liability action, the question of when the statute of limitations begins and what effect the statute of repose may have are questions that an experienced personal injury law firm can help you to answer with certainty. You should not rely solely upon the information provided in this post to make this determination. To avoid having your claim precluded by either of these two statutes it is important for you to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after you are involved in an incident involving a product that you believe has caused you harm, for your discovery of that harm.