California Satutes

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In our experience, statutes are always a question attorneys have, so we thought it would be useful to include this brief guide for your reference.

Negligence / Personal Injury: 2 Years

Within two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 335.1

Toxic Tort: 2 Years

In any civil action for injury or illness based upon exposure to a hazardous material or toxic substance, the time for commencement of the action shall be no later than either two years from the date of injury, or two years after the plaintiff becomes aware of, or reasonably should have become aware of, (1) an injury, (2) the physical cause of the injury, and (3) sufficient facts to put a reasonable person on inquiry notice that the injury was caused or contributed to by the wrongful act of another, whichever occurs later. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 340.8Wrongful Death1 YearWithin two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 335.1Medical Malpractice3 YearsIn an action for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person’s alleged professional negligence, the time for the commencement of action shall be three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 340.5Malpractice (Other Professions)

Products Liability: 2 Years

Within two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 335.1

Discovery:

Discovery rule applies to personal injury actions. See Fox. v. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., 35 Cal.4th 797, 110 P.3d 914, (Cal., 2005); See Norgart v. Upjohn Co., 21 Cal.4th 383, 405 (1999).

Intentional Torts: 1 Year

Fraud: 3 Years

An action for relief on the ground of fraud or mistake. The cause of action in that case is not deemed to have accrued until the discovery, by the aggrieved party, of the facts constituting the fraud or mistake. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 338

Municipal Liability/Sovereign Immunity

SOL: 6 months. Runs from date of notice of claim is served on entity. Doctrine of sovereign immunity abrogated.

Discovery Rule

See specific rules above for medical malpractice, legal malpractice. Otherwise SOL runs from when injury is, or should have been discovered.

Comparative Negligence

Pure comparative negligence applies.

Charitable Immunity

No charitable immunity.

Disabilities

For infancy, insanity, incompetence, and imprisonment SOL does not run until disability ceases. Infants have 2 years from 18th birthday. If plaintiff dies, SOL extended by 6 months, if defendant dies, SOL extended by 1 year.

Punitive Damages

Must be proven by clear and convincing evidence of oppression, fraud, or malice.

Toll

Defendant’s absence from state, except in motor vehicle accident where defendant can be served with summons and complaint outside of the state unless defendant cannot be located through exercise of reasonable diligence.

No-Fault Insurance

None

Other Relevant Information

Civil Action for Sexual Molestation of a Minor:
By any person or entity with duty of care to the plaintiff – 3 years after discovered (or should have been discovered) for injury or illness, or within 8 years of majority, whichever is later. Prosecution of certain sexual offenses committed when victim under 18 may be commenced anytime prior to victims 28th birthday.

Sex Discrimination Action for Wages:

2 years but 3 years if the violation was willful.

Sexual Abuse by Doctors, Surgeons, Psychotherapists, counselors, and other Health Care Professionals: 2 years

Actions Not Provided For:
4 Years after action accrues.

Injuries Caused by Domestic Violence:
3 years from injury, 2 years from discovery, whichever is longer.

Note

In cases involving developers, design professionals, contractors, and their insurers the California Court of Appeals has determined that Code of Civil Procedure 337.15 10-year cutoff of suits for latent defects may be extended if the contractor that performed the defective work attempts repairs.

Consumer Fraud Complaint

California Department of Consumer Affairs
http://www.dca.ca.gov/
(916) 445-1254
(800) 952-5210

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