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Statute of Limitations Challenged: Defective Product Lawsuit


Posted on Sep 30, 2007

product liability caseAlthough this defective product statute of limitations does not concern lawsuits within the Tar Heel State, our North Carolina defective product attorneys review the out-of-state law challenge so that injured persons can see how statutes of limitations affect injury cases:

The Ohio legislature passed a law several years ago that prevented a suit against a manufacturer of a defective product if that product was manufactured ten years before the product was delivered to the owner.

A worker injured by equipment at the General Motors plant in Toledo has urged the Ohio Supreme Court to scrap a state law that prevents a lawsuit against the equipment manufacturer, citing violation of constitutional rights. This was approximately a month after Douglas Groch was injured. The challenge revolves around a provision that bars a lawsuit related to defective products if it has been at least 10 years since the product was delivered to the owner. Mr. Groch claims to have been injured by a trim press that came down on his right forearm and wrist. The GM Powertrain plant received the machine in 1977, which means that under the retroactive terms of Senate Bill 80, the time limit for a lawsuit expired in 1987.

Mr. Groch claims to have been permanently disfigured by the incident which took place on March 3, 2005. He was under the impression that he had a time limit of two years after the incident to file suit, but the new time limit that was put in place a month after his injury prevented a product liability suit.

In North Carolina, product liability suits are not allowed after six years from the date the product was manufactured. Therefore North Carolina residents have less protection from defective products than some other states. In the particular out-of-state case above, the injured worker may not have the right to sue the manufacturer of the product that caused his injuries, but since the injuries occurred at work, he may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. 

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