Legal Memorandum: Application of the Statute of Repose in NC

Issue: Will a North Carolina court apply another state’s statute of repose which was shorter than six years in a products liability suit?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Statute of repose; Products liability case
Jurisdiction: North Carolina
Cited Cases: 92 N.C. App. 687; 306 N.C. 364; 293 S.E.2d 415; 239 F. Supp. 999; 322 N.C. 331; 376 S.E.2d 47; 63 N.C. App. 292; 368 S.E.2d 849
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2001

           The North Carolina Supreme Court has addressed the issue of application of statutes of repose in Boudreau v. Baughman, 322 N.C. 331, 368 S.E.2d 849, 857 (1988).  In Boudreau, the court noted that statutes of repose are substantive, and that the lex loci rule applies to substantive actions.  368 S.E.2d at 854.  See also Bolick v. American Barmag Corp., 306 N.C. 364, 293 S.E.2d 415, 417 (1982).  The law of the forum applies to statute of limitations periods.  Byrd Motor Lines, Inc. v. Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp., 63 N.C. App. 292, 304 S.E.2d 773, 777 (1983).  Therefore, the Boudreau court applied the Florida statute of repose to a products liability claim arising in Florida and initiated in North Carolina.  368 S.E.2d at 857.  See also Terry v. Pullman Trailmobile, 92 N.C. App. 687, 691, 376 S.E.2d 47 (1989) (where plaintiff was Texas resident involved in accident in New York and product was manufactured by North Carolina corporation, court of appeals reversed trial court’s holding that North Carolina statute of repose barred action because New York substantive law was held to apply).

In Snyder v. Wylie, 239 F. Supp. 999 (W.D.N.C. 1965), a personal injury case arising from an automobile accident in Virginia, a North Carolina federal district court ruled on the applicability of statutes of limitations where the Virginia […]

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