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Time limits on lawsuits involving defective medical devices

Despite strict safety standards and exhaustive testing procedures, defective medical devices still injure consumers. While many people may wonder how faulty devices make it past screening procedures, those injured by defective medical devices are more interested in how to remedy their situations.

Fortunately, the law provides a solution in the form of product liability lawsuits. However, those who have been injured need to understand that certain limitations exist in product liability law that may affect the eligibility to file such a suit. Each state has its own set of laws governing how product liability cases work. These laws include time limits on when injured parties can take legal action.

Like other states, Tennessee has a statute of limitations law addressing when an injured patient can file a lawsuit. Currently, this statute of limitations stands at four years. This means that victims have four years after the date of injury in which to file a legal action against sellers and/or manufacturers of the device. Tennessee also has something called a statute of repose, which enforces additional limitations on whether a lawsuit may proceed.

A statute of repose provides a degree of protection for potential product liability targets by addressing the passage of time in one or more area. In Tennessee, the statute of repose lasts for six years after any injury from the defective device occurs. Further, the statute lasts for ten years after the first sale of the product.

Breaking it down as simply as possible, the statute prohibits legal action if no injuries from the device occurred within a six-year window. It also protects manufacturers and sellers from a lawsuit if no injury occurred within a ten-year window after the initial sale of a product.

Understandably, many victims injured by defective medical devices find these legal terms and limits confusing. This is why it is so important to seek legal advice about product liability lawsuits regardless of how much time has passed since an injury occurred. While these laws exist to protect people on both sides of an injury, a personal injury lawyer may be able to offer solutions that injured parties have not considered.

Source: FindLaw, "Time Limits for Filing Product Liability Cases: State-by-State," accessed March 22, 2018

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