II. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
In Maryland, most civil actions including negligence and products liability-based claims must be
filed within three (3) years of the date on which the action accrues. Maryland Courts & Judicial
Proceedings Code Annotated § 5-101.
- Under Maryland law a cause of action accrues on the date plaintiff knew
or, with due diligence, reasonably should have known of the wrong. Arroyo v. Board of Education,
381 Md. 646, 851 A.2d 576 (2004). Knowledge of a "wrong" is the trigger not knowledge of
the cause of the wrong. Therefore, the running of the statute of limitations is not delayed "until
the conclusion of a diligent investigation." Lumsden v. Design Tech Builders, Inc., 358 Md. 435,
749 A.2d 796 (2000).
- Some exceptions to the general rule:
- Actions for assault, libel or slander: one (1) year. Maryland
Courts & Judicial Proceedings Code Annotated § 5-105;
- Actions in favor of a minor child: within three (3) years after
the child reaches the age of majority (18). Maryland Courts & Judicial Proceedings Code Annotated
- Maryland follows the common law "coming of age" rule under which a
person's age is computed by including the day on which the person was born. Mason v. Board of
Education, 375 Md. 504, 826 A.2d 433 (2003)(child born on April 4, 1979 obtained age of majority
on April 3, 1997 and, as a consequence, her claim filed on April 4, 2000 was one day late and
time barred by §5-201).
- Actions brought under the sales article of the Uniform Commercial Code, e.g.,
a claim for the breach of an express or implied warranty: four (4) years from the date of sale.
Maryland Commercial Law Code Annotated § 2-725(1);
- Tortfeasor's claim for indemnification and contribution: accrues not at
time tort committed but at time tortfeasor pays or is ordered to pay the injured person. Tadjer v.
Montgomery County, 61 Md.App. 492, 487 A.2d 658 (1985).