Proposed Bill Would Expand Lawsuit Limits

A bill in the General Assembly could make it easier to sue over defective products.

Existing law sets a six-year limit from the time of purchase to sue over an allegedly defective product to recover damages for injury, death or property damage. Ten other states have limits. Six of them have ten-year limits and four have limits of 12 or 15 years.

Wake Senator Janet Cowell offered the bill to give consumers 15 years to sue. The bill has been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Long says extending the deadline would help injured consumers while also restraining workers' compensation premiums.

Opponents say the bill would hurt the state's business climate by exposing companies to lawsuits on products that may have worn out rather than being defective.