Most people are familiar with a statute of limitations, a law that gives you a certain amount of time to bring a claim starting from the date of the injury. That makes sense, since you know when you are injured. A “statute of repose,” on the other hand, is a limitation on the amount of time starting from the date a product is made, whether you have been injured yet or not.
What makes these laws – such as Ohio’s law – particularly vicious is that they can cut off the ability to file a claim BEFORE THE INJURY HAS EVEN HAPPENED. One a product had been made – whether that’s a medical device like a hip implant, a smoke detector, or a baby’s high chair – after 10 years, no claims can be made against the manufacturer.
What does this mean to you?
Not surprisingly, Ohio’s statute of repose has been described as “a victory for manufacturers.” If manufacturers won, who lost? And by the way, how does this make products safer?