SB 1243
Modifies provisions relating to civil actions
LR Number:
Last Action:
3/29/2022 - Second Read and Referred S Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2022

Current Bill Summary

SB 1243 - This act modifies provisions relating to civil actions, including statutes of repose, statutes of limitations, determination of fault, immunity from liability for certain designers, manufacturers, sellers, and lessors of products, and the expiration date of provisions relating to COVID-19 causes of action.


This act provides that a person injured by a defective or unsafe condition of a product or due to negligence in the design, manufacture, sale, or distribution of a product has 15 years after the sale or lease of the product to bring a claim for damages.

The 15-year time limitation shall not apply to actions relating to real property, actions where a person has knowingly concealed any defective or unsafe condition or negligence of the product, actions for indemnity or contribution by a defendant, actions involving a product which has a warranty stating a useful life longer than 15 years, actions regarding negligent service or maintenance of a product, actions involving a product that is subject to a government mandated product recall related to consumer safety, actions where the product causes certain latent diseases, and actions against manufacturers of mechanical devices where the harm occurred during a product's useful safe life. However, the exception to the time limitation regarding products causing certain latent diseases does not apply to certain actions against a seller claiming a product is unreasonably dangerous due to a defective condition, unless the seller is also the manufacturer.

This act applies to civil actions and new causes of action asserted on or after August 28, 2022. Any cause of action that has accrued on or before August 28, 2022, shall be brought no later than August 28, 2023.

This provision is identical to SB 635 (2022) and SS/SB 7 (2021) and is similar to HB 2415 (2022), a provision in HCS/SCS/SB 119 (2021), HB 474 (2021), in HCS/HB 922 (2021), SB 555 (2020), HCS/SCS/SB 662 (2020), SB 879 (2020), HB 1596 (2020), SS/SB 100 (2019), in SCS/HB 186 (2019), SCS/SB 596 (2018), in SCS/SB 1102 (2018), HCS/HB 1611 (2018), SB 220 (2017), HB 594 (2017), and SB 1091 (2016).


Currently, actions for personal injury shall be brought within five years from the time the injury occurred. This act states that actions for personal injury are to be brought within two years from the time the injury occurred. Additionally, current actions against an insurer relating to uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage, including any action to enforce such coverage, are to be brought within ten years. This act modifies the statute of limitations for such actions to be brought within two years.

These provisions are identical to provisions in SCS/SB 631 (2022) and is similar to HB 2206 (2022), provisions in SS/SB 3 (2021), in HCS/SCS/SB 119 (2021), HB 855 (2021), in HCS/HB 922 (2021), SB 633 (2020), SB 96 (2019), and SB 934 (2018).


Current law provides that an agreement by release, covenant not to sue or not to enforce a judgment given in good faith to one of two or more persons liable in tort for the same injury or wrongful death shall reduce the claim for damages by the greater of either the stipulated amount of the agreement or the amount of consideration paid and such agreement shall discharge the tort-feasor to whom it is given from all liability for contribution or noncontractual indemnity, as defined in the act, to any other tort-feasor. Furthermore, current law provides a defendant in all tort actions who bears less than fifty-one percent of the fault shall only be liable for the percentage of the judgment for which the defendant is determined to be responsible. However, when a defendant bears fifty-one percent or more of the fault, the defendant is jointly and severally liable for the judgment amount. This act repeals these provisions and provides that the liability of each defendant shall not be joint and each defendant shall be liable only for the amount of damages in direct proportion to the defendant's percentage of fault.

In determining the amount of judgment to be entered against each defendant, the court shall reduced the total amount of damages recoverable by the plaintiff by the total of any stipulated amount in any release, covenant not to sue or not to enforce a judgment under any agreement with any other person or entity alleged to have been at fault, or any consideration paid by such person or entity, whichever is greater. The court shall then multiply the remaining amount of damages recoverable by the plaintiff by the percentage of each defendant's fault. The final amount shall be the maximum recoverable against that defendant.

In assessing percentage of fault, the trier of fact shall consider all persons who contributed to the plaintiff's injury regardless of whether the person or entity is a party to the suit and regardless of whether the person or entity has settled or been released from liability. Fault of a nonparty may be considered if the plaintiff entered into a settlement with or has otherwise released from liability the nonparty or if a party gives notice before trial that a nonparty was at fault. Fault of another person or entity may be alleged by any party in the action in any claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or as an affirmative defense. Findings of fact, including any determination of fault, regarding the fault of a nonparty shall not subject the nonparty to liability, be introduced as evidence of liability in any action, or otherwise be binding against or otherwise affect the rights or liabilities of the person or entity.

This act contains provisions similar to provisions in SB 669 (2022), SB 821 (2022), SB 381 (2021), SB 845 (2020), HB 1310 (2021), HB 2242 (2020), SB 678 (2018), a provision in SCS/SB 1102 (2018), SB 383 (2017), SB 736 (2016), HB 2287 (2016), SB 140 (2015), a provision in SCS/SB 589 (2014), SB 830 (2014), SB 846 (2014), SB 609 (2012), a provision in HCS/HB 1298 & 1180 (2012), SB 211 (2011), and HB 364 (2011).


This act provides that in any civil action for personal injury, death, or property damages caused by a product the plaintiff shall prove that the defendant designed, manufactured, sold, or leased the particular product that is alleged to have caused the injury and not a similar or equivalent product. Designers, manufacturers, sellers, or lessors of products not identified as used, ingested, or encountered by the injured party shall not be held liable for the alleged injury. A person, firm, corporation, association, partnership, or entity whose design is copied or otherwise used by a manufacturer without the designer's express authorization shall not be subject to liability for personal injury, death, or property damage even if the use of the design was foreseeable.

This provision is identical to a provision in SB 669 (2022) and SB 350 (2021).


The provisions relating to COVID-19 related actions are set to expire on August 28, 2025. This act provides that such provisions shall continue to apply to causes of action accruing before August 28, 2025. However, any causes of action that are prohibited or time-barred shall continue to be so after August 28, 2025.

This provision is identical to a provision in SCS/SB 631 (2022).



No Amendments Found.