California Statute of Limitations for Defective Products

Injuries caused to the person or property that are the result of a person properly using a product are quite common in America. These defective products placed into the stream of commerce often reach the consumer in the form of an improperly designed appliance or device, food laced with bacteria, or any item that just happened to be manufactured incorrectly.

While there are many ways for defective products to unknowingly hit the market, California statute of limitations laws for defective products require those injured by these items to bring their claims to court within a certain time period. This is a quick summary of the statute of limitations for defective products in California.

Keeping Track of California Statute of Limitations for Defective Products

California statutes of limitations for defective products set two different time frames that depend on whether the injury happened to a person or if it injured a specific piece of property. In general, an injured party can file a products liability claim against the manufacturer, designer, or the seller of the product. However, since people injured by a defective product have a limited time to file their claims, keeping track of when the injury occurred is extremely important.

The following table outlines the specifics of the California's statute of limitations for product liability claims.

Code Sections

California Code - Chapter 3: The Time Of Commencing Actions Other Than For The Recovery Of Real Property

Products Strict Liability Claim

Under California products strict liability law, a plaintiff must claim that he or she was harmed by a product distributed, manufactured, or sold by the defendant that:

  • Contained a manufacturing defect; or

  • Was defectively designed; or

  • Did not include sufficient instructions or warning of potential safety hazards.

Statute of Limitations

Under California statute of limitation for defective products, an action for an injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another must be commenced within two years.

An action for taking, detaining, or injuring any goods or chattels, including actions for the specific recovery of personal property must be commenced within three years.

When the Clock Starts Running

According to California laws, a statute of limitation accrues when the injured party knows or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known the injury occurred. However, in California there is also an exception to this rule known as the continuous accrual rule.

If you have been injured by a defective product and are concerned about the California statute of limitations for product liability claims, you can contact a California product liability lawyer through FindLaw. Visit FindLaw's sections on statute of limitations and product liability for more articles and information on this topic.

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