2006 Ohio Revised Code - 2305.10. Product liability claims and actions for bodily injury or injuring personal property; childhood sexual abuse.

§ 2305.10. Product liability claims and actions for bodily injury or injuring personal property; childhood sexual abuse.
 

(A)  Except as provided in division (C) or (E) of this section, an action based on a product liability claim and an action for bodily injury or injuring personal property shall be brought within two years after the cause of action accrues. Except as provided in divisions (B)(1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) of this section, a cause of action accrues under this division when the injury or loss to person or property occurs. 

(B) (1)  For purposes of division (A) of this section, a cause of action for bodily injury that is not described in division (B)(2), (3), (4), or (5) of this section and that is caused by exposure to hazardous or toxic chemicals, ethical drugs, or ethical medical devices accrues upon the date on which the plaintiff is informed by competent medical authority that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, or upon the date on which by the exercise of reasonable diligence the plaintiff should have known that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, whichever date occurs first. 

(2) For purposes of division (A) of this section, a cause of action for bodily injury caused by exposure to chromium in any of its chemical forms accrues upon the date on which the plaintiff is informed by competent medical authority that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, or upon the date on which by the exercise of reasonable diligence the plaintiff should have known that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, whichever date occurs first. 

(3) For purposes of division (A) of this section, a cause of action for bodily injury incurred by a veteran through exposure to chemical defoliants or herbicides or other causative agents, including agent orange, accrues upon the date on which the plaintiff is informed by competent medical authority that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, or upon the date on which by the exercise of reasonable diligence the plaintiff should have known that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, whichever date occurs first. 

(4) For purposes of division (A) of this section, a cause of action for bodily injury caused by exposure to diethylstilbestrol or other nonsteroidal synthetic estrogens, including exposure before birth, accrues upon the date on which the plaintiff is informed by competent medical authority that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, or upon the date on which by the exercise of reasonable diligence the plaintiff should have known that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, whichever date occurs first. 

(5) For purposes of division (A) of this section, a cause of action for bodily injury caused by exposure to asbestos accrues upon the date on which the plaintiff is informed by competent medical authority that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, or upon the date on which by the exercise of reasonable diligence the plaintiff should have known that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, whichever date occurs first. 

(C) (1)  Except as otherwise provided in divisions (C)(2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7) of this section or in section 2305.19 of the Revised Code, no cause of action based on a product liability claim shall accrue against the manufacturer or supplier of a product later than ten years from the date that the product was delivered to its first purchaser or first lessee who was not engaged in a business in which the product was used as a component in the production, construction, creation, assembly, or rebuilding of another product. 

(2) Division (C)(1) of this section does not apply if the manufacturer or supplier of a product engaged in fraud in regard to information about the product and the fraud contributed to the harm that is alleged in a product liability claim involving that product. 

(3) Division (C)(1) of this section does not bar an action based on a product liability claim against a manufacturer or supplier of a product who made an express, written warranty as to the safety of the product that was for a period longer than ten years and that, at the time of the accrual of the cause of action, has not expired in accordance with the terms of that warranty. 

(4) If the cause of action relative to a product liability claim accrues during the ten-year period described in division (C)(1) of this section but less than two years prior to the expiration of that period, an action based on the product liability claim may be commenced within two years after the cause of action accrues. 

(5) If a cause of action relative to a product liability claim accrues during the ten-year period described in division (C)(1) of this section and the claimant cannot commence an action during that period due to a disability described in section 2305.16 of the Revised Code, an action based on the product liability claim may be commenced within two years after the disability is removed. 

(6) Division (C)(1) of this section does not bar an action for bodily injury caused by exposure to asbestos if the cause of action that is the basis of the action accrues upon the date on which the plaintiff is informed by competent medical authority that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, or upon the date on which by the exercise of reasonable diligence the plaintiff should have known that the plaintiff has an injury that is related to the exposure, whichever date occurs first. 

(7) (a) Division (C)(1) of this section does not bar an action based on a product liability claim against a manufacturer or supplier of a product if all of the following apply: 

(i) The action is for bodily injury. 

(ii) The product involved is a substance or device described in division (B)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section. 

(iii) The bodily injury results from exposure to the product during the ten-year period described in division (C)(1) of this section. 

(b) If division (C)(7)(a) of this section applies regarding an action, the cause of action accrues upon the date on which the claimant is informed by competent medical authority that the bodily injury was related to the exposure to the product, or upon the date on which by the exercise of reasonable diligence the claimant should have known that the bodily injury was related to the exposure to the product, whichever date occurs first. The action based on the product liability claim shall be commenced within two years after the cause of action accrues and shall not be commenced more than two years after the cause of action accrues. 

(D)  This section does not create a new cause of action or substantive legal right against any person involving a product liability claim. 

(E)  An action brought by a victim of childhood sexual abuse asserting any claim resulting from childhood sexual abuse, as defined in section 2305.111 [2305.11.1] of the Revised Code, shall be brought as provided in division (C) of that section. 

(F)  As used in this section: 

(1) "Agent orange," "causative agent," and "veteran" have the same meanings as in section 5903.21 of the Revised Code. 

(2) "Ethical drug," "ethical medical device," "manufacturer," "product," "product liability claim," and "supplier" have the same meanings as in section 2307.71 of the Revised Code. 

(3) "Harm" means injury, death, or loss to person or property. 

(G)  This section shall be considered to be purely remedial in operation and shall be applied in a remedial manner in any civil action commenced on or after April 7, 2005, in which this section is relevant, regardless of when the cause of action accrued and notwithstanding any other section of the Revised Code or prior rule of law of this state, but shall not be construed to apply to any civil action pending prior April 7, 2005. 
 

HISTORY: GC § 11224-1; 112 v 237; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53; 138 v H 716 (Eff 6-12-80); 139 v S 406 (Eff 8-26-82); 140 v H 72 (Eff 5-31-84); 146 v H 350 (Eff 1-27-97); 149 v S 108, § 2.01. Eff 7-6-2001; 150 v S 80, § 1, eff. 4-7-05; 151 v S 17, § 1, eff. 8-3-06.
 

The provisions of § 3(C) of S.B. 80 (150 v  - ) read as follows: 

SECTION 3. The General Assembly makes the following statement of findings and intent: 

* * * 

(C) In enacting division (D)(2) of section 2125.02 and division (C) of section 2305.10 of the Revised Code in this act, it is the intent of the General Assembly to do all of the following: 

(1) To declare that the ten-year statute of repose prescribed by division (D)(2) of section 2125.02 and division (C) of section 2305.10 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act, are specific provisions intended to promote a greater interest than the interest underlying the general four-year statute of limitations prescribed by section 2305.09 of the Revised Code, the general two-year statutes of limitations prescribed by sections 2125.02 and 2305.10 of the Revised Code, and other general statutes of limitations prescribed by the Revised Code; 

(2) To declare that, subject to the two-year exceptions prescribed in division (D)(2)(d) of section 2125.02 and in division (C)(4) of section 2305.10 of the Revised Code, the ten-year statutes of repose shall serve as a limitation upon the commencement of a civil action in accordance with an otherwise applicable statute of limitations prescribed by the Revised Code; 

(3) To recognize that subsequent to the delivery of a product, the manufacturer or supplier lacks control over the product, over the uses made of the product, and over the conditions under which the product is used; 

(4) To recognize that under the circumstances described in division (C)(3) of this section, it is more appropriate for the party or parties who have had control over the product during the intervening time period to be responsible for any harm caused by the product; 

(5) To recognize that, more than ten years after a product has been delivered, it is very difficult for a manufacturer or supplier to locate reliable evidence and witnesses regarding the design, production, or marketing of the product, thus severely disadvantaging manufacturers or suppliers in their efforts to defend actions based on a product liability claim; 

(6) To recognize the inappropriateness of applying current legal and technological standards to products manufactured many years prior to the commencement of an action based on a product liability claim; 

(7) To recognize that a statute of repose for product liability claims would enhance the competitiveness of Ohio manufacturers by reducing their exposure to disruptive and protracted liability with respect to products long out of their control, by increasing finality in commercial transactions, and by allowing manufacturers to conduct their affairs with increased certainty; 

(8) To declare that division (D)(2) of section 2125.02 and division (C) of section 2305.10 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act, strike a rational balance between the rights of prospective claimants and the rights of product manufacturers and suppliers and to declare that the ten-year statutes of repose prescribed in those sections are rational periods of repose intended to preclude the problems of stale litigation but not to affect civil actions against those in actual control and possession of a product at the time that the product causes an injury to real or personal property, bodily injury, or wrongful death[.] 

 

Effect of Amendments

151 v S 17, effective August 3, 2006, inserted (E) and redesignated the remaining subsections accordingly; in present (G), substituted "April 7, 2005" for "the effective date of this amendment"; and corrected internal references. 

150 v S 80, effective April 7, 2005, rewrote the section. 

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