Individual States 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

ASSUMPTION OF RISK

Assumption of risk completely bars recovery in negligence and strict liability actions. Warner Fruehauf Trailer Co., Inc. v. Boston, 654 A.2d 1272 (D.C. 1995) .

CAPS ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.

COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE

Collateral source rule is most commonly applied when the source of the benefit is not connected in any way with the tortfeasor, but it is also applied where the victim contracted for the benefits. District of Columbia v. Jackson, 451 A.2d 870 (1982) .

COMPARATIVE FAULT

Comparative negligence is not recognized by the District of Columbia. Nat'l Health Lab. Inc. v. Ahmadi, 596 A.2d 555 (D.C. App. 1991) .

Contributory negligence does not bar recovery under strict liability. Payne v. Soft Sheen Prods. Inc., 486 A.2d 712 (D.C. 1985) .

ECONOMIC LOSS

The courts have not yet decided whether to adopt the economic loss doctrine. Bowler v. Stewart-Warner Corp., 563 A.2d 344 (D.C.App.1989) (Ferren, J., concurring).

JOINT & SEVERAL LIABILITY

When two tortfeasors jointly contribute to some harm, either may be held liable to the injured party for the entire harm. Nat'l Health Lab. Inc. v. Ahmadi, 596 A.2d 555 (D.C. App. 1991) .

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Punitive damages, but not compensatory damages, are apportioned among joint tortfeasors according to their individual degree of culpability and ability to pay the intended sanction. Remeikis v. Boss & Phelps, Inc., 419 A.2d 986 (D.C. 1980) .

Although there must be a basis for compensatory damages before punitive damages will be considered, nominal damages are enough to justify the imposition of punitive damages. Maxwell v. Gallagher, 709 A.2d 100 (D.C. 1998) .

RIGHT TO CONTRIBUTION

Any joint tortfeasor who has paid more than his pro rata share has a right to contribution. Pro rata shares are equal and are not based on fault. However, a trial court may require one joint tortfeasor to bear sole responsibility for the judgment if: (1) that tortfeasor has an express contractual duty to indemnify; (2) that tortfeasor wrongfully directed or induced the other joint tortfeasor to do the negligent act; (3) that tortfeasor is held responsible solely by operation of law because of a relation to the original wrongdoer, such as the liability of an employer for acts of his employee or an owner of an automobile for acts of the driver. Nat'l Health Lab. Inc. v. Ahmadi, 596 A.2d 555 (D.C. App. 1991) .

STATUTES OF LIMITATION

Actions for personal injury, including those based on negligent manufacturing, product liability, breach of warranty, and misrepresentation, must be brought within three years. D.C. Code Ann. §12-301(8) .

Actions for wrongful death must be brought within one year. D.C. Code Ann. §16-2702 .

Actions for property damage must be brought within three years, (or within five years if damaged by toxic substances or asbestos). D.C. Code Ann. §12-301 .

STATUTES OF REPOSE

There is no statute of repose for product liability actions in the District of Columbia.

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.