New ‘Traps’ Example: Statutes of Repose for Claims by Minors

Thursday, June 3, 2021
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The Massachusetts Bar Association is in the process of updating its Traps for the Unwary publication, a member-exclusive reference guide last published in 2011 that looks at some of the malpractice hazards for attorneys who practice in a general, civil practice. While the guide is nearing completion, we invite members to share any “traps” they’ve come across in their practice for possible inclusion in the next edition.

Share your trap suggestion by emailing it to Attorney James E. Harvey of O’Malley, Harvey & Brosnan LLP, who is again serving as editor-in-chief for the project and is working closely with liaisons from several MBA section councils.

To help you identify potential traps, the MBA will periodically publish excerpts from Traps for the Unwary in eJournal. View this week’s trap, plus previously shared examples, below.

TRAPS EXAMPLE: STATUTES OF REPOSE FOR CLAIMS BY MINORS

Although M.G.L. c. 260, § 7 tolls most statutes of limitations until a minor reaches majority, it does not toll the six-year statute of repose for tort claims arising from the negligent design, construction or administration of improvements to real property, M.G.L. c. 260, § 2B. Tindol v. Boston Hous. Auth., 396 Mass. 515, 517, 487 N.E.2d 488 (1986). And for medical malpractice claims by minors, notwithstanding the usual tolling of the statute of limitations for minors provided by c. 260, § 7, the statute of limitations is three years (except for children under age six) and the statute of repose is seven years. M.G.L. c. 260, § 60D.

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