Tennessee Statutes of Limitation – Statutes of Limitation for Common Tennessee Causes of Action

Posted on Aug 23 2012 8:13AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

This post will address the statutes of limitation for several common Tennessee causes of action.  I will also provide the Tennessee statute that is the source for the statutes of limitation for each cause of action.  


It must be noted that fact specific inquiries need to be completed for each and every case.  Each case could have specific facts that could impact whether the statute of limitations bars a particular claim.  The “discovery rule” is one doctrine that has been applied to some Tennessee causes of action.  The Tennessee Supreme Court has found the discovery rule “provides that the statute of limitations begins to run when the injury is discovered, or in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, the injury should have been discovered. The rule responds to the unfairness of requiring that he [a plaintiff] sue to vindicate a non-existent wrong, at a time when injury is unknown and unknowable.”  Quality Auto Parts v. Bluff City Buick, 876 S.W.2d. 818, 820 (Tenn. 1994).  There are other potential exceptions to Tennessee statutes of limitation including exceptions for minors or those deemed incompetent under certain circumstances.  See T.C.A. § 28-1-106.


The causes of action and the Tennessee statute of limitation for each are as follows:


1.          Slander - "within six (6) months after the words are uttered."  (See T.C.A. § 28-3-103)

2.          Civil actions for compensatory or punitive damages brought under the Federal Civil Rights statutes - 1 year statute of limitation (See T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(3))

3.          False Imprisonment - 1 year statute of limitation (See T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(1))

4.          Injuries to the person - 1 year statute of limitation (See T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(1))

5.          Libel - 1 year statute of limitation (See T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(1))

6.          Malicious Prosecution - 1 year statute of limitation (See T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(1))

7.          Medical Malpractice – 1 year statute of limitation from injury (or discovery of that injury under certain circumstances) (See T.C.A. § 29-26-116 and T.C.A. § 28-3-104)

8.          Products Liability – 1 year statute of limitations from the date of the injury, not the sale of the product (See T.C.A. § 28-3-104(b)(2))

9.          Suits against attorneys and accountants for malpractice - 1 year statute of limitation (See T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(2))

10.        Wrongful Death – 1 year statute of limitation (T.C.A. § 28-3-104)

11.        Actions for usury (excessive interest rate) – 2 years from “the date of the payment of the debt upon which such claim for usury shall be based” (See T.C.A. § 28-3-107)

12.        Actions for detention or conversion of personal property - 3 years (See T.C.A. § 28-3-105(2))

13.        Injury to personal property - 3 year statute of limitation (See T.C.A. § 28-3-105(1))

14.        Injury to real property - 3 year statute of limitation (See T.C.A. § 28-3-105(1))

15.        Damages against person engaging in the practice of surveying for any deficiency, defect, omission, error or miscalculation - 4 year statute of limitation from the date the survey is recorded on the plat (See T.C.A. § 28-3-114)

16.        Breach of contract causes of actions (other than those expressly provided for in specific statutes) – 6 year statute of limitation (See T.C.A. § 28-3-109(a)(3))


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TAGS: Negligence, Malicious Prosecution, Tennessee Medical Malpractice/Health Care Liability, Statute of Limitations, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Products Liability, Slander/Libel, Wrongful Death
Jason  -  7/26/2013 10:23:41 AM

That is really a fact specific question. It depends on the facts of your specific situation. There is no easy answer for those types of claims because it can depend on whether they are statutory claims or when the fraud was discovered etc. You can email me if you have more specific and I can try to point you in the right direction.


Michael Wayne Poen  -  7/26/2013 10:07:44 AM
What is the statute of limitation for conspearacy to commit fraud and reakless endangerment?

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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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