Baxter v. Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Connecticut Supreme Court
230 Conn. 335, 644 A.2d 1297 (1994)
In 1990, a gun designed and manufactured by Sturm, Ruger and Company, Inc. (Sturm) (defendant) accidentally discharged and shot the son of William Baxter (plaintiff). The gun was purchased in Oregon in 1968 and given to Baxter, an Oregon resident. On August 31, 1991, Baxter filed suit against Sturm in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, where Sturm had its corporate offices. The lawsuit included claims for product liability under the Connecticut Products Liability Act and Connecticut General Statutes. Under Oregon law, a party had to file such claims within two years from the date of injury or death but no more than eight years after purchasing the product. Under Connecticut law, the claim filing had to occur within three years from the date of injury or death but no more than ten years after the party no longer had possession of the product. Applying Connecticut’s choice-of-law rules, the district court found that the Oregon statute of repose was substantive and therefore used its provision to grant summary judgment in favor of Sturm. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit expressed the view that Connecticut law was unsettled and therefore certified the issue of how to treat the Oregon statute of repose to the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Peters, C.J.)
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