MAINE

Statute Of Repose

Construction: 10 Years after “substantial completion” of the project or services rendered, but no more than 4 Years after discovery of malpractice or negligence of architect or engineer. 14 M.R.S.A. §752-A.

Products: None.

Negligence / Personal Injury
6 Years All civil actions shall be commenced within 6 years after the cause of action accrues and not afterwards, except actions on a judgment or decree of any court of record of the United States, or of any state, or of a justice of the peace in this State, and except as otherwise specially provided. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 752
Toxic Tort
6 Years All civil actions shall be commenced within 6 years after the cause of action accrues and not afterwards, except actions on a judgment or decree of any court of record of the United States, or of any state, or of a justice of the peace in this State, and except as otherwise specially provided. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 752

The general test for determining when a cause of action accrues is when a plaintiff receives a judicially recognizable injury. The Maine Supreme Court ahs limited the application of the discovery rule to three discrete areas: legal malpractice, foreign object and negligent diagnosis medical malpractice, and asbestosis. Johnston v. Dow & Colombe, Inc., 686 A.2d. 1064, 1066 (Me. 1996) (citing Bozzuto v. Ouellette, 408 A.3d 697, 699 (Me. 1979)).
Wrongful Death
2 Years An action under this section must be commenced within 2 years after the decedent's death. If a claim under this section is settled without an action having been commenced, the amount paid in settlement must be distributed as provided in this subsection. A settlement on behalf of minor children is not valid unless approved by the court, as provided in Title 14, section 1605. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 18-A, § 2-804
Medical Malpractice
3 Years Except as provided in section 2902-B, actions for professional negligence must be commenced within 3 years after the cause of action accrues. For the purposes of this section, a cause of action accrues on the date of the act or omission giving rise to the injury. Notwithstanding the provisions of Title 14, section 853, relating to minority, actions for professional negligence by a minor must be commenced within 6 years after the cause of action accrues or within 3 years after the minor reaches the age of majority, whichever first occurs. 24 Me. Rev. Stat. § 2902

Under Maine law, a cause of action for medical malpractice accrues on the date of the act or omission giving rise to the injury.  Lucas v. D'Angelo, 37 F.Supp.2d 45 (D. Me. 1999).

Patient's claim against oral surgeons for failing to warn of the dangers of implant inserted to relieve jawbone malfunctions accrued, and three year statute of limitations for professional negligence began to run, when oral surgeons sent such patient a letter that advised patient of a safety alert from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding possible dangers associated with the implants.  Farnum v. Oral Surgery Associates (2007) Me., 933 A.2d 1267.
Products Liability
6 Years

All civil actions shall be commenced within 6 years after the cause of action accrues and not afterwards, except actions on a judgment or decree of any court of record of the United States, or of any state, or of a justice of the peace in this State, and except as otherwise specially provided. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 752

Discovery:

The Maine Supreme Court has limited the application of the discovery rule to three discrete areas: legal malpractice, foreign object and negligent diagnosis medical malpractice, and asbestosis. The question will become whether we can prove that this is a foreign object; otherwise no discovery. Johnston v. Dow & Colombe, Inc., 686 A.2d. 1064, 1066 (Me. 1996) (citing Bozzuto v. Ouellette, 408 A.3d 697, 699 (Me. 1979)).

Courts will look to the following four factors to determine whetehr the discovery rule should apply. (1) the natureo f hte relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant; (2) the magnitude of the loss or harm; (3) the plaintiff's inability to discover that he had been wronged within teh applicable limitations period; and to a lesser degree, (4) the existence of corroborating evidence. McAfee v. Cole, 637 A.2d 463 (Me. 1994).

Fraud
6 Years If a person, liable to any action mentioned, fraudulently conceals the cause thereof from the person entitled thereto, or if a fraud is committed which entitles any person to an action, the action may be commenced at any time within 6 years after the person entitled thereto discovers that he has just cause of action, except as provided in section 3580. [1985, c. 641, §1 (AMD).] 14 Me. Rev. Stat. § 859.

Genuine issue of material fact as to whether, during three-year period following operation for implantation of defective devices to relieve malfunctions of jawbone's temporomandibular joints, defendant oral surgeons engaged in conduct that a fact finder might conclude amounted to fraudulent concealment precluded summary judgment for oral surgeons in patients' negligence action.  Brawn v. Oral Surgery Associates, 819 A.2d 1014 (Me. 2003).
Municipal Liability/Sovereign Immunity
2 Years Infant has 2 years from injury and minor has 2 years from reaching majority. Notice of claim to be filed within 180 days unless claimant is a minor in which case it is 180 days from reaching majority.
Discovery Rule
SOL runs from when injury is, or should have been, discovered.
Comparative Negligence
Modified comparative negligence rule: Plaintiff can recover only if his/her percentage of fault is less than that of defendant.
Charitable Immunity
Applies unless charity is insured and then liability is limited to amount of insurance.
Disabilities
SOL runs from removal of disability. Infants (18th birthday).
Punitive Damages
Allowed if defendant acts with actual malice Caps: None
No-Fault Insurance
None
Other Relevant Information
6 Years for general SOL. 4 years: Malpractice or proof of negligence of architects or engineers with Discovery Rule of 4 years and a maximum of 10 years. 2 years: Actions against ski areas or tramway owners or operators. 2 years: Actions against dram shops.
Consumer Fraud Complaint

Maine Office of the Attorney General, Consumer and Antitrust Division
http://www.maine.gov/ag/consumer/complaints/index.shtml

Consumer Line: (800) 436-2131

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