Limitations Refresher Course

By Michael Huseman
Northern Law Blog
Feb 6, 2010

I came across a very clear explanation of the difference between a statute of limitations and a statute of repose while doing some research. I thought you might be interested.

"[A] statute of repose differs from a statute of limitations in that a statute of limitations governs the time in which lawsuits may be commenced after a cause of action has accrued, while a statute of repose extinguishes the action itself after a fixed period of time, regardless of when the action accrued." DeLuna v. Burciaga, 223 Ill. 2d 49, 61 (2006).

A statute of limitations generally does not begin to run until the plaintiff discovers (or reasonably should have discovered) his injury. By contrast, a statute of repose generally begins to run at the time of the defendant's allegedly culpable act and cuts off theright to bring a claim after a certain period of time,regardless of when or even whether the plaintiff discovers that the defendant's act caused him injury. Hinkle v. Henderson, 85 F.3d 298, 301 (7th Cir.1996)."