Statute of Limitations refers to the statutes by jurisdictions referring to the amount of time a plaintiff has after the event of the claim, to file their complaint in court.


The purpose of the statute of limitations allows the defendant to mount a reasonable defense. It also keeps old, “stale”, claims out of court.


The statute of limitations are statutes. They will vary by jurisdiction. However, generally, the statute of limitations last for about 2 years.

Discovery Rule

Often times, the injury may not be discoverable right away. This is often the case when it comes to medical malpractice cases. The discovery rule simply says that the statute of limitations starts when the plaintiff is aware (or should be aware) of the injury and knows the casual connection between the injury and the defendant.

Statute of Repose

How is a statute of repose different from the statute of limitations. For a statute of repose, there is no relationship to the between the plaintiff’s claim.


So, for example, the plaintiff has a negligent surgery and does not suffer an injury for several years. Statute of limitations starts with the injury. Statute of repose begins at the time of the negligence.

The statute of repose is about 6 years from the negligent act.

There are two exceptions:

  1. If a foreign object is unintentionally left in a body.
  2. There is continued act of negligence (very difficult to prove because each interaction needs to be a new cause of action).

In Iowa, the statute of repose is 15 years from the date that the product was put into use.


  1. If a warranty extends beyond the years outlined in the statute.
  2. Misrepresentation of the product.
  3. If the product has harmful material (this is because some of the products have harmful material where the injury occurs later than 15 years). Examples of harmful material include:
    1. Silicon within the body.
    2. Chemicals
    3. etc.


The content contained in this article may contain inaccuracies and is not intended to reflect the opinions, views, beliefs, or practices of any academic professor or publication. Instead, this content is a reflection on the author’s understanding of the law and legal practices.

Categories: 1L Fall, Torts

Will Laursen

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