Individual States 

CONNECTICUT

ASSUMPTION OF RISK

Assumption of risk, as well as last clear chance, was both abolished. Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-572h(l) .

CAPS ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.

COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE

In actions for personal injury or wrongful death the court shall reduce the amount of economic damages by the amount paid by collateral sources. However, no reduction is allowed for collateral sources for which rights of subrogation exist, or for the amount of collateral sources equal to the reduction in claimant's economic damages due to his percentage of negligence. In addition, in the calculation of the collateral source reduction of the jury's award of economic damages, the plaintiff is entitled to an offset for the amount of premiums paid to purchase health insurance, including those paid by plaintiff or by an employer. Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-225a ; Alvarado v. Black, 728 A.2d 500 (Conn. 1999) .

COMPARATIVE FAULT

In product liability, recovery is not barred by contributory negligence, but the award of compensatory damages is diminished proportionately. In cases based on negligence, the same rule applies as long as the negligence does not exceed the combined negligence of the persons against whom recovery is sought, including certain settlements and releases. Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-572o , et seq.

ECONOMIC LOSS

A product liability claim may be asserted and shall be in lieu of all other claims against product sellers, including actions of negligence, strict liability and warranty, for harm caused by a product. For purposes of a product liability action, the term "harm" includes damage to property, including the product itself, and personal injuries. However, as between commercial parties, "harm" does not include commercial loss. Thus, an action for commercial loss caused by a product may only be brought under U.C.C. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§52-572n, 52-572m(d) .

JOINT & SEVERAL LIABILITY

Joint & several liability applies in negligence, product liability, and strict liability on the basis of the common law joint and several liability of joint tortfeasors. Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-572o .

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Common law punitive damages serve primarily to compensate the plaintiff for his injuries and, thus, are properly limited to the plaintiff's litigation expenses less taxable costs. However, in product liability actions where the harm suffered was the result of product seller's reckless disregard for the safety of product users, punitive damages are permitted by statute up to two times compensatory damages. Berry v. Loiseau, 614 A.2d 414 (Conn. 1992) ; Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-240b .

RIGHT TO CONTRIBUTION

Contribution must be sought within one year after judgment becomes final, or under negligence theory, within two years after party seeking contribution made the final payment in excess of his proportionate share. If there is no judgment (i.e. settlement), the person bringing the action for contribution must have either (1) discharged with payment the common liability and brought a contribution action within one year from payment, or (2) agreed to do so while action was pending, and both discharged the liability and brought a contribution action within one year of the agreement. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§52-572o and 52-572h.

Release of one joint tortfeasor does not release the others unless the release so provides. Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-572e .

SPECIAL DEFENSES

A product seller is not liable for harm that would not have occurred but for the fact that the product was modified by a third party, unless the alteration or modification was: (1) made in accordance with the instructions or specifications of the product seller, (2) made with the consent of the product seller, or (3) was one that should reasonably have been anticipated. Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-572p .

STATUTES OF LIMITATION

Actions for product liability must be brought within three years from the date of the injury, death, or property damage was first sustained or discovered, or with reasonable care should have been discovered. Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-577a .

Actions founded upon a tort must be brought within three years. Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-577 .

Actions for injury to person or property, caused by negligence, reckless or wanton misconduct, or medical malpractice must be brought within two years. Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-584 .

Actions for breach of warranty must be brought within four years. Conn. Gen. Stat. §42a-2-725 .

STATUTES OF REPOSE

Action cannot be brought more than 10 years after the time the party parted with possession, except where there is an express written warranty for greater than ten years, or in cases of intentional misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, asbestos, phenoxy herbicides, or hazardous substances. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§52-577a, 577b and 577c .

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT

For combined economic and noneconomic damages exceeding $200,000, the parties can agree on lump sum, periodic payment or any combination. Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-225d .