Lawyers at DBMS successfully litigate a wide variety of civil cases and argue appeals in some of the most challenging jurisdictions in the country.

Appellate Product Liability

DBMS Wins Appeal in Product Liability Action

07/01/2020
Outcome:

First District Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Plaintiff's Product Liability Claims

Synopsis:

DBMS obtained dismissal of a plaintiff’s product liability claims against a medical device manufacturer.  Plaintiff appealed the circuit court’s dismissal order, and DBMS secured a First District Appellate Court victory in which the appellate court ruled that the plaintiff’s product liability claims were time-barred by the two year statute of limitations that began to run when plaintiff knew or should have known that his injury was wrongfully caused.

In November 2013, the plaintiff underwent a hernia repair procedure involving the implementation of hernia mesh.  The plaintiff experienced post-operative complications.  In November 2015, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon and hospital, alleging that negligence occurred during the surgery and post-operative care.  The plaintiff engaged in discovery with the surgeon, who was deposed in July 2017.  After that deposition, the plaintiff filed a second amended complaint that, for the first time, asserted claims against the manufacturer of the hernia mesh.  DBMS filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s product liability claims pursuant to the statute of limitations.  The circuit court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

In its decision, the appellate court considered the proper application of the discovery rule when a plaintiff alleges that his injury might have been wrongfully caused by more than one source.  The appellate court limited prior case law commonly relied upon by Illinois plaintiffs. The appellate panel narrowed a prior, frequently misinterpreted decision to its specific facts.  In its holding, the First District Appellate Court explained that the relevant inquiry for application of the discovery rule and commencement of the statute of limitations depends on when the plaintiff knew or should have known that his injury was potentially wrongfully caused.