2011 Connecticut Code
Title 52 Civil Actions
Chapter 926 Statute of Limitations
Sec. 52-584. Limitation of action for injury to person or property caused by negligence, misconduct or malpractice.

      Sec. 52-584. Limitation of action for injury to person or property caused by negligence, misconduct or malpractice. No action to recover damages for injury to the person, or to real or personal property, caused by negligence, or by reckless or wanton misconduct, or by malpractice of a physician, surgeon, dentist, podiatrist, chiropractor, hospital or sanatorium, shall be brought but within two years from the date when the injury is first sustained or discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered, and except that no such action may be brought more than three years from the date of the act or omission complained of, except that a counterclaim may be interposed in any such action any time before the pleadings in such action are finally closed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8324; 1957, P.A. 467; 1969, P.A. 401, S. 2.)

      History: 1969 act changed deadline for bringing action from one year to two years from date injury is first sustained or discovered or should have been discovered, effective October 1, 1969, and applicable to injuries first sustained on or after that date.

      See Sec. 52-190a re automatic ninety-day extension to allow reasonable inquiry in malpractice action.

      See Sec. 52-555 re actions for injuries resulting in death.

      See Sec. 52-594 re time limits for executor or administrator to bring personal action which survives to representatives of a deceased person.

      Cited. 34 C. 58. In case of death, failure to appoint administrator will not stop statute running. 77 C. 110. Includes all corporations. 77 C. 529. Demurrer cannot raise question of statute, as date of injury is immaterial. 81 C. 284; 82 C. 579; 83 C. 503. "Injury" means hurt; statute applies to action by husband for negligent injury to wife. 83 C. 505. Action for damage to goods from fall of leased building held to be in this section. 82 C. 578. Negligence of telegraph company in changing order for goods not within this section. 91 C. 35. Applied to action against surgeon for negligence in treatment; but not against him in contract. 103 C. 719; but see 119 C. 507. Cited. 114 C. 732. Applies to actions against nonresidents begun under Sec. 52-62. 116 C. 648. History of this section. 119 C. 502. Applies to all actions to recover for personal injuries whether due to negligence or not. Id., 507. Cited. 123 C. 648. In malpractice action statute runs from act if injury was then complete, from termination of treatment if injury arises from a course of treatment. 127 C. 385. Cited. 128 C. 108. Connecticut statute held applicable to action here under N.J. workmen's compensation law although right of action thereunder did not arise until after expiration of the one-year period. 131 C. 665. See notes to chapter 926. Ignorance that damage has been done does not prevent running of statute, except where there is something tantamount to fraudulent concealment of cause of action. 135 C. 176. Does not apply to cause of action founded on absolute liability from ultrahazardous activity of blasting. 137 C. 577. Cannot be construed as embodying an exception by implication in favor of an unemancipated minor. 139 C. 218. An action for injury to the person is governed by the one-year statute of limitations only if the injury is caused by negligence, by reckless or wanton misconduct, or by malpractice. 142 C. 452. The enactment of a statute which may bar an action even before the cause of action accrues is not beyond the power of the legislature and is consonant with the purpose of a statute of limitations which is to prevent the unexpected enforcement of stale claims concerning which the persons interested have been thrown off their guard by want of prosecution. 144 C. 170. The one-year period of limitation starts to run at the date when the defendant negligently does the act which results in damages to the plaintiff. Id. Cited. Id., 282. When the act or omission complained of was not merely selling a defective cartridge but permitting it to be available for future use without indicating its potential danger, such a claim was not an act or omission completed at the time of the sale but of conduct continuing to the time of the injury. Id., 316. Cited. 148 C. 327. Running of statute of limitations suspended between decedent's death and appointment of administrator in personal injury action against estate. 153 C. 255. Cited. 154 C. 708. Does not apply to action by riparian owners against water company for diversion of waters. 155 C. 477. Defense of statute of limitations is not proper matter for plea to jurisdiction. 159 C. 416. Cited. 168 C. 329. Action based on negligence must, by this section, be brought within one year of injury complained of but in any event within three years "of the act or omission complained of". 170 C. 289. Cited. 185 C. 390. Cited. 186 C. 632. Cited. 188 C. 301. Cited. 190 C. 8. Cited. 192 C. 327; Id., 451; Id., 497; Id., 732. Cited. 198 C. 660. Cited. 199 C. 683. Cited. 200 C. 562. Cited. 201 C. 39. Lack of informed consent is malpractice under the statute. 205 C. 1. Cited. Id., 255; Id., 741. Cited 206. C. 229. Cited. 207 C. 204; Id., 496; Id., 599. Cited. 209 C. 437. Cited. 211 C. 199. Cited. 212 C. 509. Application of three-year bar with respect to negligence occurring prior to that period does not infringe upon Conn. Const. Art I, Sec. 10. 213 C. 282. Cited. 214 C. 242; Id., 464. Cited. 215 C. 377. Cited. 216 C. 412. Cited. 218 C. 531. Cited. 219 C. 363. Cited. 225 C. 238. "Continuous treatment" and "continuing course of conduct" doctrines discussed. 229 C. 256. Cited. 232 C. 527. Cited. 237 C. 25. Cited. 238 C. 800. Cited. 239 C. 265. Cited. 242 C. 1. Statute of limitations was tolled; judgment of appellate court in Grimes v. Housing Authority, 42 CA 324, reversed. Id., 236. Statute of limitations was tolled when employer received notice of an employee's timely filed action against a third party tortfeasor and intervened within thirty-day period prescribed by Sec. 31-293. 246 C. 156. Where improvements to real property contemplated by an architect's or engineer's services are not completed because of the defect complained of, Sec. 52-584a, and not this section, applies to plaintiff's cause of action. 247 C. 293. Mental suffering constitutes injury, even if unaccompanied by physical trauma to the body. 248 C. 21. Precondition of the continuing course of conduct doctrine is that defendant must have committed an initial wrong upon plaintiff. 252 C. 193. Since there was a genuine issue of material fact with respect to whether the three-year repose section contained in the statute was tolled by defendant's alleged ongoing failure to warn plaintiff of his concern for cancer thus triggering the continuing course of conduct doctrine, it was improper for trial court to have concluded that there was no continuing course of conduct as a matter of law and to have granted defendant's motion for summary judgment. Id., 363. Allegations in amended complaint presented a new and different set of facts and were barred by statute of limitations since new facts did not relate back to original complaint. 257 C. 58. Does not impose a duty on plaintiff to investigate, instead, it requires jury to consider all the facts and circumstances in order to determine date when the injury is first sustained or discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered. 262 C. 797. Does not impose a heightened standard of discovery on health care professionals regarding discovery of actionable harm. Id. Correct legal standard by which to evaluate timeliness of causes of action in negligence restated. Limitation period for actions in negligence begins to run on date when injury is first discovered or in exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered. 268 C. 723. Ninety-day extension provided in Sec. 52-190a(b) applies equally to both the two-year statute of limitation and three-year statute of repose in this section. 269 C. 787. Legislature's purpose in distinguishing "injury or actionable harm" from "the act of omission complained of" and providing a three-year statute of repose, was to avoid the "draconian effect" of running the two-year limitation period from the date of defendant's negligence in cases in which plaintiff is unable to bring an action because he could not discover an essential jurisdictional fact, despite the exercise of reasonable care. 271 C. 284. Two-year statute of limitations set forth in statute does not begin to run until plaintiff knows or reasonably should have known the identity of the tortfeasor. Plaintiff's ignorance of tortfeasor's identity will not excuse plaintiff's failure to bring a negligence action within three years of the date of the act or omission complained of. Id. Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that two isolated contacts with two different radiologists at same hospital over the course of three years constituted a continuing course of conduct or treatment so as to toll the statute of limitations set forth in section for the purpose of allowing plaintiff to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the hospital for failing to discover her brain tumor. 279 C. 312. Plaintiff parents' claims against gynecologist delivering their infant were barred by the 3-year repose provision in statute; there was no genuine issue of material fact that gynecologist was not under a continuing duty to warn plaintiff parents of potential complications associated with respiratory distress syndrome because gynecologist ceased to be infant's treating physician after his birth; responsibility for infant's care and treatment after his birth was assumed by another physician who diagnosed infant as having the syndrome, and any legal duty that gynecologist had re infant prior to delivery concluded upon date of his birth. Imposition on delivering hospital of a continuing duty to inform plaintiff parents of all potential complications associated with infant's diagnosis regardless of his treating physician's actual knowledge would nullify the 3-year repose provision established by legislature for medical malpractice actions; the continuing course of conduct doctrine did not toll such repose provision. 280 C. 190. Continuous treatment doctrine did not apply to bar statute of limitations. 282 C. 745. Action was not time barred because there were disputed facts sufficient to warrant the invocation of the continuing course of conduct doctrine. 287 C. 158. Evidence that defendant should have been aware or that defendant deviated from the standard of care does not amount to actual knowledge to impose a continuing duty on defendant so that the period of repose is tolled under the continuous course of conduct doctrine; evidence must be submitted to prove the existence of a physician-patient relationship or ongoing course of treatment by defendant in order to properly toll the period of repose under the continuing treatment doctrine. 290 C. 347.

      Cited. 1 CA 7; Id., 123; Id., 652. Provides no exceptions for minors or insane persons. 3 CA 602. Cited. 6 CA 212. Cited. 11 CA 156. Cited. 14 CA 178. Cited. 16 CA 108. Cited. 18 CA 515. Cited. 19 CA 16. Cited. 21 CA 524. Cited. 22 CA 610. Cited. 24 CA 239. Cited. 25 CA 665. Cited. 29 CA 392. Cited. 31 CA 235; Id., 569. Cited. 32 CA 187; Id., 205. Cited. 33 CA 6; Id., 378; Id., 422; Id., 673. Cited. 34 CA 395. Cited. 38 CA 458; Id., 829. Cited. 42 CA 324; judgment reversed, see 242 C. 236. Cited. 43 CA 397. Cited. 45 CA 775. Cited. 46 CA 712. The continuing course of conduct doctrine does not apply after plaintiff discovers the harm. 59 CA 311. Service of prejudgment remedy document did not toll the running of section, even though contained the words "the institution of this action" and included unsigned proposed writ of summons and complaint, since unsigned writ and complaint does not have effect of commencing a civil action. 61 CA 234. Court declined to adopt rule that section is tolled when prejudgment remedy documents are served. Id. Where plaintiff's suit against a state officer was dismissed due to immunity, the two-year statute of limitations applies in subsequent suit against the state and the exception under Sec. 52-593 for failure to name the right person as defendant does not apply. 62 CA 545. Statute of limitations not tolled by continuous course of conduct doctrine where pathology group failed to diagnose plaintiff's disease, because to expect pathology group to provide follow-up treatment or to instruct patient on follow-up care after a negative diagnosis when there is no awareness that the diagnosis is wrong and there is no ongoing relationship is beyond the expectation of public policy. 66 CA 518. Because plaintiff failed to offer any evidence to demonstrate that defendant physician had an awareness of risk to plaintiff subsequent to the surgical sterilization procedure, plaintiff could not establish that defendant had a continuing duty to warn her so as to toll the limitation period of statute. 67 CA 565. Although genuine issue of material fact existed re defendant's initial alleged negligence, trial court properly granted defendant's motion for summary judgment because plaintiff failed to prove that defendant physician was aware of a risk to plaintiff that would have triggered a continuing duty to warn her so as to toll the limitation period of statute. Id., 576. Statutes of limitation are not tolled by an automatic bankruptcy stay; pursuant to federal law, if the statute of limitations expires during the automatic bankruptcy stay, plaintiff has thirty days from notice of termination or expiration of the stay within which to commence an action. 68 CA 79. Where defendant negligently misidentified plaintiff's property as belonging to another, the case concerns negligent injury to property and therefore the statute of limitations in this section applies rather than the three-year limitation set forth in Sec. 52-577. 79 CA 290. Doctrines of continuous treatment and continuing course of conduct apply, as a matter of law, only to three-year limitation period and do not apply to toll time period for discovery portion of statute. 82 CA 396. Claim cast in contractual language subject to three-year period of statute because, in light of noneconomic relief sought, it more closely resembles claim based on tortious conduct arising out of negligent performance or nonperformance of contractual duty than claim for breach of contract. 84 CA 1. Sheriff's attempt to serve defendant with process before he fled and subsequent service in defendant's mailbox were sufficient to constitute good faith efforts at compliance when defendant was clearly evading service. 93 CA 76.

      Cited. 1 CS 142. Includes personal injuries whether or not due to negligence, citing 119 Conn. 500, 507. 3 CS 417. Injury means physical injury. 4 CS 293. Action for malpractice whether founded on tort or contract must be brought within one year. 6 CS 92; but see 11 CS 180. Cited. 8 CS 93; 9 CS 312. Cause of action otherwise barred by statute of limitations is not saved because it is asserted as a counterclaim. Id., 387. Cited. 10 CS 6. Statute should not be passed upon by demurrer unless matters in avoidance of it have been voluntarily inserted in the complaint. Id., 419; 17 CS 1. Cited. 11 CS 119. This section carves out an action ex contractu resulting from tortious or negligent conduct which caused a breach of contract. 12 CS 286. Withholding service for the purpose of allowing insurance company to adjust claim will not estop the statute from tolling if the insurance company is not a party defendant. 14 CS 418. Legal damage and apparent damage distinguished. Id., 464. Action for inducing entry into a mental institution is not limited by this section but by Sec. 52-577. 15 CS 434. Cited. 17 CS 62. See note to Sec. 52-577. Where amendment to complaint made more than two years after accident was based on nuisance, it was not barred since it is a question of fact whether nuisance resulted from positive act or negligence. Id., 114; 20 CS 36. Cited. 18 CS 225. Section controls limitation on action for damage to plaintiff's fence caused by the crumpling of a stone ledge on defendant's property near the common boundary. Id., 308. Former statute: Claimed negligence against manufacturer from expulsion of automobile tire while being mounted on rim held barred by statute because manufacture took place more than a year before action was begun; former statute compared. 19 CS 293. Defendant employer and its insurer not required to intervene within the one-year period. 20 CS 31. Prior statute compared. Id., 34. When wrong sued upon consists of continuing course of conduct, statute does not begin to run until that course of conduct is completed. 22 CS 46. The statute of limitations bars the plaintiff from amending his complaint in a personal injury action to add a claim for property damage more than one year after the collision. Id., 472. Where the action is seasonably brought so far as this section is concerned, the legislature did not intend that this section qualify the right of the employee under Sec. 31-293 to join as a plaintiff within thirty days thereafter. 23 CS 106. Counterclaim more than a year after the occurrence is barred unless it may be allowed under the exception. Held that pleadings had been finally closed on the filing of a reply when they terminated in an issue of fact decisive of the merits of the case. That the court might reopen the pleadings at any time to permit amendment did not mean that they were not closed within the intendment of the statute. Id., 139. Cited. Id., 367. Cited. 24 CS 321. Where complaint is broad enough to permit proof of causes in tort and contract, demurrer merely reaching tort action is insufficient. Id., 459. Where plaintiffs alleged only negligence in their complaint, their motion to amend by charging defendant with wanton misconduct stated a new cause of action and could not be granted since the statute of limitations had run. 25 CS 363. This section does not apply to the "Dog Injury" statute, which is governed by Sec. 52-577. 26 CS 294. Impleading under Sec. 52-102a barred by statute of limitations. 27 CS 46. Motion to amend complaint to expand or amplify original allegations does not change cause of action and is not barred by statute of limitations. Id., 60. Cited. 28 CS 162. Where one year period with respect to antemortem injuries had not expired when decedent died, his personal representative under Sec. 52-594 had year from date of death to institute action. Id., 461. Ordinarily, statute of limitations does not commence to run against defendant (third party plaintiff) and in favor of third-party defendant until judgment has been entered against defendant. 29 CS 9. Statute of limitation suspended between decedent's death and appointment of administrator in personal injury action against estate. Id., 246. Cited. Id. The time does not begin to run in a case involving a failure to warn of a foreign object in a patient's body until the object is discovered, unless reasonable diligence would have uncovered it earlier. 32 CS 118. Cited. 34 CS 22. Provisions of this section should not be extended to allow codefendant to interpose cross claim when statute of limitations has run on the plaintiff's cause of action. Id., 247. Statute of limitation is tolled upon the death of a tortfeasor until a fiduciary of his estate is properly appointed and qualified. 36 CS 121. Cited. Id., 269. Cited. 37 CS 735; Id., 899. Cited. 38 CS 318. Cited. 40 CS 266. Cited. 42 CS 187. Cited. 44 CS 148; Id., 527. Cited. 45 CS 136. Continuing course of conduct doctrine does not apply to the two-year limitation. Term "injury" in the statute requires an actionable harm. Id., 154. Plaintiff claim fails to toll the statute; defendant's assertion of statute of limitations in motion to strike rather than as a special defense was acceptable in this case. 46 CS 386. Plaintiffs' allegations of negligence, occurring 21 years before filing of suit, made against named defendant for failure to have valid certificate of occupancy or to design, construct, operate or properly maintain property in accordance with building and fire codes, were not barred as untimely by tort statute of limitations so as to warrant granting of defendants' motion to strike those counts so alleging; facts demonstrated continuous course of conduct that tolled time limitations of section. 50 CS 28. Statutes of repose allow defendants at some point to be free from liability, absent unclean or fraudulent conduct, and logical conclusion is that legislature intended state to abide by statutes of repose. 51 CS 265.

      Action based on claim physician broke contract to achieve certain result from operation is not malpractice action. Malpractice defined. 2 Conn. Cir. Ct. 135. Cause of action brought under Sec. 52-572 not governed by one-year limitation imposed by this section. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 379. A defendant may be estopped by his agreement, conduct, representations or fraud from asserting the bar of the statute; provided the plaintiff has presented sufficient evidence upon which the judge can base such a finding. Id., 686, 689. In a small claims action, according to the Practice Book, sections 900, 901, the statute of limitation stops running when the case is entered in court even though the service of notice is not made within the statutory period. Id., 690, 697. Cited. 5 Conn. Cir. Ct. 488. Where pleadings showed plaintiffs knew at date of accident they had substantial injuries, they had not met burden of demonstrating an exception to usual running of this statute and defendant's motion for summary judgment was correctly granted. Id., 85. Defendant insurer's discussions of settlement did not estop it from pleading this statute as defense to plaintiff's action where there was no fraud on its part and final offer had been made four months before statute barred action. Id., 127. When defendant accepted plaintiff's offer of settlement of her cause of action for personal injuries, statute became inoperative as defense as contract had been made between the parties. Id., 274.

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