Senate Bill No. 406
(By Senators Sypolt, Hall, K. Facemyer, Nohe, Barnes and Boley)
[Introduced February 3, 2011; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new chapter, designated §55A-1-1, relating to establishing an eighteen-year statute of limitations for durable goods; defining a term; and providing an exception.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new chapter, designated §55A-1-1, to read as follows:
CHAPTER 55A. STATUE OF LIMITATIONS FOR DURABLE GOODS.
ARTICLE 1. STATUTE OF REPOSE.
§55A-1-1. Eighteen year statute of limitations for durable goods.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision in this code to the contrary, a product liability action concerning a durable good, as that term is defined in subsection (b) of this section, may not be filed after the eighteen year period that begins when the product is delivered to the first purchaser or lessee.
(b) For purposes of this section, “durable good” means any product, or any component of that product, that:
(1) (A) Has a normal life expectancy of three or more years; or
(B) Is of a character subject to allowance for depreciation under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;(2) Is:
(A) Used in a trade or business;
(B) Held for the production of income; or
(C) Sold or donated to a governmental or private entity for the production of goods, training, demonstration, or any other similar purpose; and
(3) Is used in a workplace and is alleged to have caused harm that is covered under chapter twenty-three of this code.
(c) Subsection (a) of this section does not bar a product liability action against a defendant who made an express written warranty concerning the safety or life expectancy longer than eighteen years. In that event, a product liability action concerning a durable good, as that term is defined in subsection (b) of this section, may not be filed after the expiration of that warranty.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish an eighteen year statute of limitations for durable goods. The bill defines the term “durable good.” The bill also provides an exception for goods that have a written warranty that is longer than eighteen years.
This chapter is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.