Individual States 

MASSACHUSETTS

ASSUMPTION OF RISK

Assumption of risk has been abolished where comparative negligence applies and will not bar recovery on a negligence claim. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 231 §85 .

CAPS ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.

COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.

COMPARATIVE FAULT

Contributory negligence does not bar recovery for damages for negligence resulting in death or injury if claimant's negligence is not greater than the total amount of negligence attributable to persons against whom recovery is sought. Damages shall be diminished proportionally. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 231 §85 .

ECONOMIC LOSS

Purely economic losses are unrecoverable in tort and strict liability actions in the absence of personal injury or property damage. However, recovery is allowed where the pecuniary losses sustained by a plaintiff result from physical harm to property proximately caused by a defendant's alleged negligence. Aldrich v. Add Inc., 437 Mass. 213 (Mass. 2002) .

JOINT & SEVERAL LIABILITY

In both negligence and "tort-based" warranty actions, liability of all tortfeasors is joint and several, subject to a statutory right of contribution. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 231B, §§1 to 4 .

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Punitive damages are not allowed at common law, except where a statute provides for them. City of Lowell v. Massachusetts Bonding & Ins. Co., 47 N.E.2d 265 (Ma. 1943) .

The wrongful death statute provides for recovery of punitive damages where death is caused by malicious, willful, wanton or reckless conduct, or by gross negligence. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 229, §2 .

RIGHT TO CONTRIBUTION

Where two or more persons become jointly liable in tort for the same injury to person or property, there shall be a right of contribution among them even though judgment has not been recovered against all or any of them. The right of contribution shall exist only for a person who has paid more than his pro rata share of the common liability, and his total recovery shall be limited to the amount paid by him in excess of his pro rata share. No tortfeasor shall be compelled to make contribution beyond his own pro rata share of the entire liability. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 231B, §§1 to 4 .

STATUTES OF LIMITATION

Tort and contract actions in to recover for personal injuries shall be commenced within three years. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 260 §2A .

Wrongful death actions must be commenced within three years from the date of death, or within three years from the date when the deceased's executor or administrator knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of the factual basis for a cause of action. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 229, §2 .

An action for breach of any contract for sale must be commenced within four years after the cause of action has accrued. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 106, §2-725 .

STATUTES OF REPOSE

There is no statute of repose for product liability actions in Massachusetts.

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.