Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Limitation of Actions Provision in Contract Upheld in Products Liability Case



In the case of Stuebe v. S.S. Industries, LLC., No. 2:18-cv-04035 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 26, 2019 Jones, J.), the court granted summary judgment in a product liability case holding that a suit initiating clause in a contract between the plaintiff and the defendant that required that any suit be brought within 90 days was enforceable and not unconscionable. 

The court noted that, under Pennsylvania law, parties to a contract may shorten an applicable statute of limitations if the agreed upon period is not manifestly unreasonable.   Reviewing other cases, the court noted that similarly short periods have been held to be enforceable by other courts.  

The court in this Stuebe case additionally noted that products liability actions are no different than any other type of claim with respect to these types of suit initiating clauses that serve to reduce the statute of limitations time period.  

The court additionally noted that the clause at issue was found not to be unconscionable because the Plaintiff’s right to sue was not cut off before he knew he was injured.   The law does not require that suit limitation clauses provide a Plaintiff with enough time to fully determine the extent of his or her injuries and/or damages.  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  The companion Order can be viewed HERE.

I send thanks to Attorney James A. Beck of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm for bringing this case to my attention. 

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