Individual States 

KENTUCKY

ASSUMPTION OF RISK

Assumption of risk has been abolished as a separate defense. Parker v. Redden, 421 S.W.2d 586, 592 (Ky. 1967) .

CAPS ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.

COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE

Evidence of payments to the plaintiff from medical or disability insurers are to be excluded. O'Bryan v. Hedgespeth, 892 S.W.2d 571 (Ky. 1995) .

COMPARATIVE FAULT

Pure comparative fault principles apply to products liability cases in Kentucky and will not bar recovery. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §411.320(3) .

In product liability actions, a plaintiff's own negligence with respect to the product itself is no longer a complete bar to recovery but is instead governed by the same comparative fault principles which govern the fault of any party in a tort action. Owens Corning Fiberglass Corp. v. Parrish, 58 S.W.3d 467, 474 (Ky. 2001) .

ECONOMIC LOSS

Kentucky's highest court has yet to clearly adopt the economic loss doctrine. Nevertheless, several federal courts have predicted that Kentucky's Supreme Court would apply the economic loss doctrine in a variety of commercial circumstances. Ohio Cas. Ins. Co. v. Vermeer Mfg. Co., 298 F.Supp.2d 575 (W.D.Ky. 2004) ; Bowling Green Mun. Util. v. Thomasson Lumber Co., 902 F.Supp. 134 (W.D.Ky. 1995) .

Additionally, Kentucky courts consistently have held that recovery in tort is allowed for losses involving harm to persons and other property. Falcon Coal Co. v. Clark Equipment Co., 802 S.W.2d 947 (Ky.App. 1990) .

JOINT & SEVERAL LIABILITY

Liability among tortfeasors is several, not joint and several, under Kentucky's pure comparative fault statutes. All tortfeasors are responsible only for their respective percentages of fault. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §411.182 .

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Standard is "clear and convincing" evidence of oppression, fraud or grossly negligent conduct. Punitive damages are not assessed against a principal for the acts of an agent unless the conduct was authorized, ratified or should have been anticipated. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §411.184 .

Punitive damages are allowed in wrongful death actions where the act was willful or the negligence gross. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §411.130 .

The jury is to consider the following factors when determining the amount of punitive damages: (1) the likelihood at the relevant time that serious harm would arise from the defendant's misconduct; (2) the degree of the defendant's awareness of that likelihood; (3) The profitability of the misconduct to the defendant; (4) the duration of the misconduct and any concealment of it by the defendant; and (5) any actions by the defendant to remedy the misconduct once it became known to the defendant. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §411.186 .

RIGHT TO CONTRIBUTION

Contribution among wrongdoers may be enforced where the wrong is a mere act of negligence and involves no moral turpitude. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §412.030 .

Release, covenant not to sue, or similar agreement discharges that person from all liability for contribution, but it does not discharge others unless it so provides. The claim shall be reduced by the settling joint tortfeasor's equitable share. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §411.182 .

SPECIAL DEFENSES

In any product liability action, if manufacturer is identified and subject to the court's jurisdiction, a wholesaler, distributor or retailer who shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the product was sold by him in its original manufactured condition or package or in the same condition as it was received in, shall not be liable unless he breached an express warranty or knew or should have known at the time of distribution or sale that the product was defective. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §411.340 .

There is a rebuttable presumption in all product liability actions that the product was not defective if the design, method of manufacture, and testing conformed to recognized standards or the state of the art at the time of design and manufacture. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §411.310 .

In product liability actions, a plaintiff's own negligence is governed by the same comparative fault principles which govern the fault of any party in a tort action. Owens Corning Fiberglass Corp. v. Parrish, 58 S.W.3d 467, 474 (Ky. 2001) .

STATUTES OF LIMITATION

Actions for personal injury or wrongful death shall be brought within one year. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §413.140 .

Actions for property damage shall be brought within two years. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §413.125 .

Actions for breach of warranty must be brought within four years. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §355.2-725 .

STATUTES OF REPOSE

There is a rebuttable presumption that the product was not defective if the injury, death, or property damage occurred more than five years after the date of sale to the first consumer or more than eight years after manufacture. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §411.310 (1).

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.