Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Discovery Rule/Statute of Limitations Applied in Products Case

In the case of Kennedy v. Ethicon, Inc., No. 5:20-CV-00185 (E.D. Pa. July 20, 2020 Leeson, J.), the court granted a Defendant’s summary judgment under the two (2) year statute of limitations and after an application and review of the discovery rule.   The case involved a pelvic mesh products liability action.

The court noted that Pennsylvania’s discovery rule tolls the statue of limitations only until an injury is discoverable and can be linked to another person’s conduct.

Judge Leeson noted that the discovery rule is objective and requires that a Plaintiff exercise reasonable diligence in pursuing a claim.

In this matter, it was indicated that the Plaintiff had first learned that her new and unusual pain was caused by something associated with the Defendant’s product more than two (2), and possibly more than four (4), years before she filed suit.  According to the record before the court, the Plaintiff’s treating doctor’s diagnosis had linked the Plaintiff’s injuries to the product.  Given the Court's finding that the Plaintiff had failed to act timely in filing the claim, the case was dismissed.

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 M. Beck of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm for bringing this case to my attention.

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