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Statute of Repose a Bar to Action Against Equipment Maker for Alleged Defect
Description Trial court dismissed a suit brought by a worker injured while working around a manufacturing facility designed and installed 29 years before the accident. Pennsylvania's statute of repose sets a 12 year limit for such actions.
Topic Torts
Key Words Products Liability; Statute of Repose
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Paco designed the Rotoclave in 1962. It is used to improve the productivity of concrete block making plants. Fifteen Rotoclaves were sold worldwide, each customized to its particular location and installed under Paco supervision. The Rotoclave in question was built in 1968 in Exton, Pennsylvania. In 1997, Freeman was injured while cleaning the Rotoclave area. He sued Paco for his injuries. It defended that the statute of repose bars this action.
Decision Case dismissed. The Pennsylvania statute of repose "provides that [A] civil action or proceeding brought against any person lawfully performing or furnishing the design, planning, supervision or observation of construction, or construction of any improvement to real property must be commenced withing 12 years after completion of construction of such improvement to recover damages for: (1) Any deficiency in the design, planning ... of the improvement. ... (3) Injury to the person or for wrongful death arising out of any such deficiency." This statute controls this case since Paco designed and supervised improvements to real property 29 years ago.
Citation Freeman v. Paco Corp., 2000 WL 709481 (E.D. Pa., 2000)

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