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AIM-supported proposal would set time-limit for product liability lawsuits

A hearing was held this week on a bill filed by Senator Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, that would establish a time-limit for bringing suits against manufacturers alleging manufacturing defects.

A “statute of repose” is a statue that limits when a product liability claim may be brought for manufacturing defects. “At present, there is no statute of repose in Missouri, although many other states have such a law,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. “Our manufacturing members are usually able to defend themselves against suits claiming manufacturing defects decades after the product was purchased, but the legal costs of defending themselves is climbing. One said they could not afford to keep winning cases. We need some protections from these lawsuits,” said McCarty.

A statute of repose differs from a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations limits the time from an injury or exposure that a person may file a lawsuit. A statute of repose would apply from the date the product was purchased and would apply to manufacturing defects.

Many business-friendly groups supported the bill. The Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and others opposed the bill.

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