In 1868 the United States Supreme Court in Riddlesbarger declared that “Statutes of limitations are predicated on the reasonable and fair presumption that valid claims which are of value are not usually left to gather dust or remain dormant for long periods of time.” Wilkinson, 104 R.I. at 236, 243 A.2d at 752 (citing Riddlesbarger v. Hartford Insurance Co., 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 386, 19 L.Ed. 257 (1868)).” This case was cited in Wilkinson by the top Court in RI.
Statute of limitations in Rhode Island
Here are some of the applicable statute of limitations in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations:
- False imprisonment: 3 years R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-14(b),
- Legal malpractice: 3 years R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-14.3,
- Libel: 3 years R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-14(b),
- Medical malpractice: 3 years,
- Personal injury: 3 years R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-14(b),
- Product liability: 3 years R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-14(b).
The personal injury statute of limitations in Rhode Island, § 9-1-14 Limitation of actions for words spoken or personal injuries, states in pertinent part: “…(b) Actions for injuries to the person shall be commenced and sued within three (3) years next after the cause of action shall accrue, and not after, except as provided for otherwise in subsection…”
Can the statute of limitations be extended for personal injury, slip and fall and car accident in Rhode Island?
Typically, a statute of limitations cannot be extended. However, there are limited exceptions. In medical or surgical malpractice causes of action, the statute of limitations may be extended as a result of RI general law § 9-1-14.1 which states in pertinent part: “(1) One who is under disability by reason of age, mental incompetence, or otherwise, and on whose behalf no action is brought within the period of three (3) years from the time of the occurrence of the incident, shall bring the action within three (3) years from the removal of the disability.” or “(2) In respect to those injuries or damages due to acts of medical, veterinarian, accounting, or insurance or real estate agent or broker malpractice which could not in the exercise of reasonable diligence be discoverable at the time of the occurrence of the incident which gave rise to the action, suit shall be commenced within three (3) years of the time that the act or acts of the malpractice should, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, have been discovered.” TITLE 9 Courts and Civil Procedure–Procedure Generally CHAPTER 9-1 Causes of Action SECTION 9-1-14.1 § 9-1-14.1 Limitation on malpractice actions
Disabilities that may toll the statute of limitations in Rhode Island
“If any person at the time any such cause of action shall accrue to him or her shall be under the age of eighteen (18) years, or of unsound mind, or beyond the limits of the United States, the person may bring the cause of action, within the time limited under this chapter, after the impediment is removed.”
History of Section. (C.P.A. 1905, § 253; G.L. 1909, ch. 284, § 6; G.L. 1923, ch. 334, § 6; G.L. 1938, ch. 510, § 6; G.L. 1956, § 9-1-19; P.L. 1988, ch. 107, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 237, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 407, § 1.) § 9-1-19 Disability postponing running of statute
What exactly constitutes someone of “unsound mind”
“”the inability to manage one’s day-to-day affairs” provides a practical, operational definition of unsound mind. This definition accords with the historical attributes of legal disability and comports with the traditional use of the term as a form of legal incapacity and with this Court’s previous connotation of unsoundness of mind as incapacity to manage one’s affairs. In re Estate of Rathbun, 44 R.I. at 105, 115 A. at 706; see also Smith v. O’Connell, 997 F.Supp. 226, 235 (D.R.I.1998) (finding that unsound mind connoted “a completely incapacitating condition that renders a person legally incompetent”), aff’d sub nom., Kelly v. Marcantonio, 187 F.3d 192 (1st Cir.1999).” 794 A.2d 476 (2002) Joseph ROE v. Louis E. GELINEAU et al. No. 2000-136-Appeal. Supreme Court of Rhode Island. April 12, 2002. 477*477 478*478 479*479 Present: WILLIAMS, C.J., LEDERBERG, BOURCIER, FLANDERS, and GOLDBERG, JJ.Timothy Conlon, Providence, for Plaintiff.Thomas R. Bender, William T. Murphy, James T. Murphy, Linn Foster Freedman, Providence, for Defendant.
The Rhode island wrongful death act, § 10-7-2, as amended by P.L. 1989, ch. 525, § 1, provides that: “[e]xcept as otherwise provided, every action brought pursuant to this chapter shall be commenced within three (3) years after the death of such person. With respect to any death caused by any wrongful act, neglect or default which is not known at the time of death, such action shall be commenced within three (3) years of the time that the wrongful act, neglect or default is discovered or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have been discovered.” 641 A.2d 332 (1994) Donna M. BENNER et al. v. J.H. LYNCH & SONS, INC., MJD Construction Corp. and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, Dante E. Boffi, Jr., Director. No. 93-81-M.P. Supreme Court of Rhode Island. May 12, 1994. 333*333 Edward P. Manning, Jr., Providence, for plaintiff. Rebecca Tedford Partington, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Edward Moses, John R. Mahoney, Asquith, Mahoney & Robinson, Providence, for defendant.
When does a statute of limitations accrue?
“Generally, absent application of tolling or a statutory discovery rule, a cause of action accrues and the statute of limitations begins to run at the time of the injury to the aggrieved party.” DeSantis v. Prelle, 891 A.2d 873, 878 (R.I. 2006) STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS PROVIDENCE, SC. SUPERIOR COURT (FILED: JANUARY 26, 2012) DAVID FRIEDMAN; R. JEFFREY KNISLEY, : in his capacity as Executor of the Estate of : LEON H. CORNELL, JR.; EUSTACE T. : PLIAKAS; PETER VICAN; THEONA : PASCALIDES; WILLIAM P. VICAN, JR.; : CONSTANTINE S. GEORAS; NICHOLAS : GOLUSES, JR.; DENA PATEL; GLENN A. : CAPALBO; DAVID BOLTON; and the : AUDUBON SOCIETY OF RHODE ISLAND : : v. : C.A. No. PB 05-1193 : KELLY & PICERNE, INC. : DECISION