Individual States 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

ASSUMPTION OF RISK

Assumption of risk is a defense in strict liability and negligence that will reduce award recovery proportionally. If the plaintiff's misconduct is greater than 50 percent of the cause of the accident, then the plaintiff will be barred from recovery. Thibault v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 395 A.2d 843 (N.H. 1978) .

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

A plaintiff's award will be reduced based on percentage of comparative negligence. A plaintiff's claim is barred if plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §507:7-d .

ECONOMIC LOSS

Economic losses may not be recovered in tort. Border Brook Terrace Condo. v. Gladstone, 622 A.2d 1248 (N.H. 1993) .

JOINT & SEVERAL LIABILITY

Joint and several liability is applied except where the party's fault is less than 50 percent in which case the party's liability is several only, unless the defendants are acting in concert. This statute does not limit the liabilities for pollutant contamination, containment, cleanup, removal, or restoration as established under state public health or environmental statutes. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §507:7-e .

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Punitive damages are not recoverable in tort actions. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §507.16

RIGHT TO CONTRIBUTION

Right to contribution exists whether or not judgment has been recovered against all or any of the joint tortfeasors. It does not exist against the claimant at fault or one who is immune to the claim, and the basis is each person's share of the obligation, including the proportionate share of the claimant at fault. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§507:7-f (I) .

Contribution is not available to a tortfeasor who enters into settlement unless the settlement extinguishes the person's liability, and then only to the extent the settlement was reasonable. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§507:7-f (II) .

Judgment for contribution may be recovered upon motion in the same actions or in a separate action. Once judgment in the action has been rendered, the action for contribution must be commenced within one year. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§507:7-g .

Claims for contribution shall be resolved by arbitration, except where sought in separate action party may elect at the outset to have action heard in a court of competent jurisdiction (or within 60 days of receiving notice of demand for arbitration). N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§507:7-g (IV).

Action for contribution may be brought prior to resolution of plaintiff's principal action if plaintiff agrees. Release or covenant not to sue does not discharge other persons liable unless it expressly provides so, but it reduces the claim. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§507:7-g (IV)(c).

SPECIAL DEFENSES

It is an affirmative defense that risks complained of by plaintiff were not discoverable at the time the manufacturer parted with possession and control or sold the product. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §507:8-g .

A manufacturer or seller is not liable for injuries or damages caused by a product that has been substantially changed or that has been subject to abnormal use, provided that the change or abnormal use could not have been reasonably foreseen or expected by the manufacturer and/or seller. Reid v. Spadone Mach. Co., 119 N.H. 457 (1979) .

"Plaintiff's misconduct" is a defense to strict tort liability and warranty liability. Thibault v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 395 A.2d 843 (N.H. 1978) .

Evidence of a settlement with, or the giving of a release or covenant not to sue to, one or more persons liable for the same injury shall not be introduced in evidence in a trial by jury of an action against another person to recover damages for the same injury. However, upon return of a verdict for the plaintiff by the jury in any such trial, the court shall inquire of counsel the amount of consideration paid for any such settlement, release, or covenant not to sue, and shall reduce the plaintiff's verdict by that amount. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §507:7-i .

STATUTES OF LIMITATION

All product liability actions including claims in negligence and strict liability must be brought within three years of time injury is or should have been discovered. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §508:4 .

Actions for breach of warranty (express or implied) must be brought within four days of date of sale. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §382-A:2-725 .

Actions for wrongful death must be brought within six years. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §556:11 .

STATUTES OF REPOSE

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

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.