Section 6-5-502

Limitation periods for product liability actions.

(a) All product liability actions against an original seller must be commenced within the following time limits and not otherwise:

(1) Except as specifically provided in subsections (b), (c), and (e) of this section, within one year of the time the personal injury, death, or property damage occurs; and

(2) Except as specifically provided in subsections (b), (c), and (e) of this section, each element of a product liability action shall be deemed to accrue at the time the personal injury, death, or property damage occurs;

(b) Where the personal injury, including personal injury resulting in death, or property damage (i) either is latent or by its nature is not discoverable in the exercise of reasonable diligence at the time of its occurrence, and (ii) is the result of ingestion of or exposure to some toxic or harmful or injury-producing substance, element or particle, including radiation, over a period of time as opposed to resulting from a sudden and fortuitous trauma, then, in that event, the product liability action claiming damages for such personal injury, or property damage must be commenced within one year from the date such personal injury or property damage is or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's decedent, and in such cases each of the elements of the product liability action shall be deemed to accrue at the time the personal injury is or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's decedent; and

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, a product liability action against an original seller must be brought within 10 years after the manufactured product is first put to use by any person or business entity who did not acquire the manufactured product for either resale or other distribution in its unused condition or for incorporation as a component part in a manufactured product which is to be sold or otherwise distributed in its unused condition.

(d) The original seller may by express written agreement only waive or extend the period of time provided for in subsection (c) of this section; and

(e)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, if a plaintiff or plaintiff's decedent is entitled to maintain a product liability action because of the failure of an original seller to alter, repair, recall, inspect, or issue warnings or instructions about the manufactured product, or otherwise to take any action or precautions with regard to the safety of the manufactured product for the benefit of users or consumers after the manufactured product was sold or otherwise distributed by an original seller, and, if any federal or state governmental agency shall impose a requirement so to alter, repair, recall, inspect, or issue warnings or instructions about the manufactured product or otherwise to take any actions or precautions with regard to the safety of the manufactured product for the benefit of users or consumers after the manufactured product was sold or otherwise distributed by an original seller, then, if these two events have occurred, a product liability action for damages on account of such failure for personal injury, death, or property damage must be commenced within one year of the time the personal injury, death, or property damage resulting from such failure occurs;

(2) In product liability actions predicated upon the failure to act and the governmental action, set forth in subdivision (1) of this subsection, where the personal injury, including personal injury resulting in death, or property damage (i) either is latent or by its nature is not discoverable in the exercise of reasonable diligence at the time of its occurrence, and (ii) is the result of the ingestion of or exposure to some toxic or harmful or injury-producing substance, element, or particle, including radiation, over a period of time as opposed to resulting from a sudden and fortuitous trauma, then in that event, the product liability action claiming damages for such personal injury or property damage must be commenced within one year from the date such personal injury or property damage is or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's decedent and in such cases each of the elements of the product liability action shall be deemed to accrue at the time the personal injury or property damage is or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered by the plaintiff or plaintiff's decedent; and

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, a product liability action against an original seller must be brought within 10 years after the date of the imposition of such requirement by such governmental agency.

(Acts 1979, No. 79-468, p. 855, §3.)