Statute of Limitations, Jury Question

When the statute of limitations expires, claims are time-barred. Different claims have different statutes of limitations. The running of the statute of limitations is an affirmative defense that must be pleaded. City of Ellisville v. Lohman, 972 S.W.2d 527, 530 (Mo. Ct. App. 198). The deadline usually starts running when damages become ascertainable. Failure to plead an affirmative defense usually means a waiver of that defense.

Ordinarily, it is a question for the judge/court to decide when a claim misses the deadline. There is an exception. When “contradictory or different conclusions may be drawn from the evidence as to whether the statute of limitations has run, it is a question of fact for the jury [or fact-finder] to decide.” Lomax v. Sewell, 1 S.W.3d 548, 552-53 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999).


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