District of Columbia Statute of Limitations for Defective Product Claims

Each state establishes its own statute of limitations for product liability cases. District of Columbia product liability laws require manufacturers and retailers to include express and implied warranties for products that they place into the stream of commerce. If a consumer is injured by one of these products, District of Columbia code sets a specific time frame in which the injured party may file a claim. This is a quick summary of the statute of limitations for defective products in the District of Columbia.

Statute of Limitations for Defective Products Claims in the District of Columbia

A cause of action for a defective product exists against all manufactures and distributors that participated in placing the product into the stream of commerce. The District of Columbia applies strict liability in most of these product liability cases. While sellers and manufactures can bring forth the negligence defenses "assumption of risk" and "unforeseeable use" to rebut a products liability claim, "contributory negligence" is not a valid defense.

In order to bring forth a claim, the injured party only needs to be an intended user or consumer. However, under District of Columbia law, these claims must be filed with the court in a timely manner in order to be considered valid. The following table outlines the specifics of the District of Columbia's statute of limitations for defective products claims.

Code Sections

District of Columbia Official Code §12-301:Limitation of Time for Bringing Actions

What is a Defective Product?

If it is reasonable to expect that a person may use, consume or be affected by a product and that person is in fact injured when using this product, a seller breaches the express or implied warranty of these products. Knowledge that the product was defected is not necessary.

Statute of Limitations

Under D.C. law, an action to recover damages for a personal injury, including defective products, must be commenced within three years from the time the right to maintain the action accrues.

When the Clock Starts

Generally, a cause of action starts to accrue under the District of Columbia statute of limitations laws at the time the right to maintain the cause of action occurred. This can be when the injury actually occurred or when the injury should have been discovered.

If you have been injured by a defective product and are concerned about filing your claim within the time limit, you can contact a District of Columbia 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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