California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

2922. Statute of Limitations - Special Verdict Form or Interrogatory

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2922.Statute of Limitations—Special Verdict Form or
[Name of plaintiff] must prove that [he/she] did not know, and could not
reasonably have known, before [date three years before action was
1. That [he/she] had been harmed; and
2. That the harm was potentially caused by [his/her] work with
[name of defendant].
You will be asked a question about this on a special [verdict
New September 2003
Sources and Authority
• FELA: Statute of Limitations. 45 U.S.C. section 56.
• “Compliance with the three-year statute of limitations is a condition precedent
for recovery in a FELA action. In cases of latent or progressive injuries . . . the
‘discovery rule’ directs that the cause of action does not commence to run until
the plaintiff knew or should have known of the injury and its cause.” (Monarch
v. Southern Pacific Transportation Co. (1999) 70 Cal.App.4th 1197, 1203 [83
Cal.Rptr.2d 247], internal citations omitted.)
• “The burden is therefore on the claimant to allege and to prove that his cause of
action was commenced within the three-year period.” (Emmons v. Southern
Pacific Transportation Co. (5th Cir. 1983) 701 F.2d 1112, 1118, internal
citations omitted.)
• “Under the discovery rule, the test is an objective inquiry into whether the
plaintiff knew or should have known, in the exercise of reasonable diligence,
the essential facts of injury and cause. Constructive rather than actual
knowledge of the fact of causation triggers a duty to investigate the possible
causes of injury. Thus, in accordance with the objective test, ‘definite
knowledge’ that the injury is work related is not necessary in order for the
cause of action to accrue. Once the plaintiff believes or suspects that the
‘potential cause of his injury’ is work related, an affirmative duty to investigate
is imposed.” (Monarch, supra, 70 Cal.App.4th at p. 1203.)
Secondary Sources
42 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 485, Railroads, § 485.41
(Matthew Bender)