893.02 Annotation A fictitiously designated defendant's right to extinction of an action does not effectively vest until 60 days after the statute of limitations runs. Lavine v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. 140 Wis. 2d 434, 410 N.W.2d 623 (Ct. App. 1987).
893.02 Annotation Timely Service Abroad in Diversity Suits. La Fave. Wis. Law. Nov. 2000.
893.03 893.03 Presenting claims. The presentation of any claim, in cases where by law such presentment is required, to the circuit court shall be deemed the commencement of an action within the meaning of any law limiting the time for the commencement of an action thereon.
893.03 History History: 1977 c. 449 s. 497; 1979 c. 323.
893.03 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.41 renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
893.03 Annotation A statute of limitations is not tolled by filing an action in a court completely lacking jurisdiction and later refiling in the proper court after the statute has run. Schafer v. Wegner, 78 Wis. 2d 127, 254 N.W.2d 193 (1977).
893.04 893.04 Computation of period within which action may be commenced. Unless otherwise specifically prescribed by law, a period of limitation within which an action may be commenced is computed from the time that the cause of action accrues until the action is commenced.
893.04 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.04 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: Previous section 893.48 is repealed and sections 893.04 and 893.14 created for the purpose of clarity. See Denzer v. Rouse, 48 Wis. 2d 528, 180 N.W.2d 521 (1970) for a discussion of when a cause of action accrues, citing Holifield v. Setco Industries, Inc. 42 Wis. 2d 750, 168 N.W.2d 177 (1969). [Bill 326-A]
893.04 Annotation In attorney malpractice actions, as in medical malpractice cases, when the date of the negligence and the date of injury are the same, the statute of limitations runs from that date, for that is the time when the cause of action accrues. Denzer v. Rouse, 48 Wis. 2d 528, 180 N.W.2d 521 (1970).
893.04 Annotation The loss of the right to a patent is the loss of the right to exclude others and, therefore, the injury occurred on the date that the right to the patent was lost. Boehm v. Wheeler, 65 Wis. 2d 668, 223 N.W.2d 536 (1974).
893.04 Annotation Because s. 67.11 requires moneys in a sinking fund to remain inviolate until the bonds are retired, a cause of action regarding the fund could only accrue at retirement. Joint School District No. 1 of Chilton v. City of Chilton, 78 Wis. 2d 52, 253 N.W.2d 879 (1977).
893.04 Annotation A tort claim accrues when the injury is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. This “discovery rule" applies to all tort actions other than those governed by a statutory discovery rule. Hansen v. A. H. Robins, Inc. 113 Wis. 2d 550, 335 N.W.2d 578 (1983).
893.04 Annotation When the plaintiff's early subjective lay person's belief that a furnace caused the injury was contradicted by examining physicians, the cause of action against the furnace company did not accrue until the plaintiff's suspicion was confirmed by later medical diagnosis. Borello v. U.S. Oil Co. 130 Wis. 2d 397, 388 N.W.2d 140 (1986).
893.04 Annotation Claimed ignorance of, and a blatant failure to follow, applicable regulations cannot be construed as reasonable diligence in discovering an injury when following the rules would have resulted in earlier discovery. Stroh Die Casting v. Monsanto Co. 177 Wis. 2d 91, 502 N.W.2d 132 (Ct. App. 1993).
893.04 Annotation The discovery rule does not allow a plaintiff to delay the statute of limitations until the extent of the injury is known. The statute begins to run when the plaintiff has sufficient evidence that a wrong has been committed by an identified person. Pritzlaff v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 194 Wis. 2d 302, 533 N.W.2d 780 (1995).
893.04 Annotation The day upon which a cause of action accrues is not included in computing the period of limitation. Pufahl v. Williams, 179 Wis. 2d 104, 506 N.W.2d 747 (1993).
893.04 Annotation A plaintiff can rely on the discovery rule only if he or she has exercised reasonable diligence. Jacobs v. Nor-Lake, 217 Wis. 2d 625, 579 N.W.2d 254 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-1740.
893.04 Annotation The discovery rule applies to statutes of limitations that limit the time to sue from the time when the action “accrues," being the time of discovery. The discovery rule does not apply to a statute of repose, a statute that specifies the time of accrual and limits the time suit can be brought from that specified date. Tomczak v. Bailey, 218 Wis. 2d 245, 578 N.W.2d 166 (1998), 95-2733.
893.04 Annotation The discovery rule does not extend to causes of action not sounding in tort. State v. Chrysler Outboard Corp. 219 Wis. 2d 130, 580 N.W.2d 203 (1998), 96-1158.
893.04 Annotation Knowing that a particular product caused an injury, an injured party cannot extend the accrual date for a cause of action against the product's manufacturer due to the subsequent discovery of possible connections between that product and another manufacturer's product in causing the injury. Baldwin v. Badger Mining Corporation & Mine Safety Appliances Co. 2003 WI App 95, 264 Wis. 2d 301, 663 N.W.2d 382, 02-1197.
893.04 Annotation The discovery rule permits the accrual of both survival claims and wrongful death claims to occur after the date of the decedent's death. In the absence of a legislatively created rule to the contrary, these claims accrue when there is a claim capable of present enforcement, a suable party against whom it may be enforced, and a party who has a present right to enforce it. Christ v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, 2015 WI 58, 362 Wis. 2d 668, 866 N.W.2d 602, 12-1493.
893.04 Annotation Discovery occurs when the plaintiff has information that would constitute the basis for an objective belief as to his or her injury and its cause. The degree of certainty that constitutes sufficient knowledge is variable, depending on the particular facts and circumstances of the plaintiff. With corporate players, a different quantum of expertise and knowledge is in play. Wisconsin courts have recognized that ignorance is a less compelling excuse for corporate enterprises in the context of the discovery rule. KDC Foods, Inc. v. Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennett, P.A., et al., 763 F.3d 743 (2014).
893.04 Annotation Computing time in tort statutes of limitation. Ghiardi, 64 MLR 575 (1981).
893.04 Annotation Computing Time. Ghiardi. Wis. Law. March 1993.
893.05 893.05 Relation of statute of limitations to right and remedy. When the period within which an action may be commenced on a Wisconsin cause of action has expired, the right is extinguished as well as the remedy.
893.05 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.05 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This new section is a codification of Wisconsin case law. See Maryland Casualty Company v. Beleznay, 245 Wis. 390, 14 N.W.2d 177 (1944), in which it is stated at page 393: “In Wisconsin the running of the statute of limitations absolutely extinguishes the cause of action for in Wisconsin limitations are not treated as statutes of repose. The limitation of actions is a right as well as a remedy, extinguishing the right on one side and creating a right on the other, which is as of high dignity as regards judicial remedies as any other right and it is a right which enjoys constitutional protection". [Bill 326-A]
893.05 Annotation The expiration of the limitations period extinguishes the cause of action of the potential plaintiff and it also creates a right enjoyed by the would-be defendant to insist on that statutory bar. A defendant, having acquired a right to assert the statute of limitations bar by operation of law, would suffer plain legal prejudice if a plaintiff's motion for voluntary dismissal were granted. Wojtas v. Capital Guardian Trust Co. 477 F.3d 924 (2007).
893.07 893.07 Application of foreign statutes of limitation.
893.07(1)(1)If an action is brought in this state on a foreign cause of action and the foreign period of limitation which applies has expired, no action may be maintained in this state.
893.07(2) (2)If an action is brought in this state on a foreign cause of action and the foreign period of limitation which applies to that action has not expired, but the applicable Wisconsin period of limitation has expired, no action may be maintained in this state.
893.07 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.07 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: Sub. (1) applies the provision of s. 893.05 that the running of a statute of limitations extinguishes the right as well as the remedy to a foreign cause of action on which an action is attempted to be brought in Wisconsin in a situation where the foreign period has expired. Sub. (1) changes the law of prior s. 893.205 (1), which provided that a resident of Wisconsin could sue in this state on a foreign cause of action to recover damages for injury to the person even if the foreign period of limitation had expired.
893.07 Note Sub. (2) applies the Wisconsin statute of limitations to a foreign cause of action if the Wisconsin period is shorter than the foreign period and the Wisconsin period has run. [Bill 326-A]
893.07 Annotation The borrowing statute was properly applied to an injury received outside of this state. A conflict of laws analysis was not appropriate. Guertin v. Harbour Assurance Co. 141 Wis. 2d 622, 415 N.W.2d 831 (1987).
893.07 Annotation Section 893.16 (1) is effective to toll the running of the statute of limitations, even when under s. 893.07 the plaintiff would be barred from bringing suit under applicable foreign law. Scott v. First State Insurance Co. 155 Wis. 2d 608, 456 N.W.2d 312 (1990).
893.07 AnnotationThis section does not borrow foreign tolling statutes. Johnson v. Johnson, 179 Wis. 2d 574, 508 N.W.2d 19 (Ct. App. 1993).
893.07 Annotation This section is applicable to actions on contracts. A claim is foreign when the final significant event giving rise to a suable event, the alleged breach, occurs outside the state. Abraham v. General Casualty Co. 217 Wis. 2d 294, 576 N.W.2d 46 (1998), 95-2918.
893.07 Annotation Sub. (1) refers to “the period of limitation," as defined by the foreign jurisdiction, that governs the case in the foreign state. Application of this rule includes a limitation period that operates as a statute of repose. Wenke v. Gehl Company, 2004 WI 103, 274 Wis. 2d 220, 682 N.W.2d 405, 01-2649.
893.07 Annotation A cause of action is foreign under this section if the underlying injury occurs outside this state. In a case in which the plaintiff claims to have been injured in the same course of action in multiple states, the plaintiff's location at the time of the plaintiff's first injury controls whether the cause of action is foreign. Paynter v. ProAssurance Wisconsin Insurance Company, 2018 WI App 27, 381 Wis. 2d 239, 911 N.W.2d 374, 17-0739.
893.07 Annotation A tort action based on an injury received outside of this state was “foreign." Johnson v. Deltadynamics, Inc. 813 F.2d 944 (1987).
893.07 Annotation Under this section, a foreign jurisdiction's period of limitations is borrowed, but not its period of repose. Beard v. J. I. Case Co. 823 F.2d 1095 (1987).
893.07 Annotation This section directs courts to apply the shortest limitation period possible to foreign causes of action, whether the applicable statute is a statute of limitations or a statute of repose. Merner v. Deere & Co. 176 F. Supp. 2d 882 (2001).
893.07 Annotation Wisconsin's borrowing statute: Did we shortchange ourselves? 70 MLR 120 (1986).
893.07 Annotation Interpreting Wisconsin's Borrowing Statute. Wiegand. Wis. Law. May 2001.
subch. II of ch. 893 SUBCHAPTER II
LIMITATIONS TOLLED OR EXTENDED
893.10 893.10 Actions, time for commencing. The period within which an action may be commenced shall not be considered to have expired when the court before which the action is pending is satisfied that the person originally served knowingly gave false information to the officer with intent to mislead the officer in the performance of his or her duty in the service of any summons or civil process. If the court so finds, the period of limitation is extended for one year.
893.10 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.10 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.14 renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
893.10 Annotation Many Wisconsin statutes of limitation use commencement of “an action” to set the time by which a claimant must act to timely preserve a claim. A party can possess a claim without it commencing an action, but a party cannot properly commence an action without it asserting at least one valid claim. Because a claim provides the basis for an action, a claim necessarily exists before an action is brought, and what matters for limitations purposes is whether an action is timely commenced asserting that claim. The legislative choice to refer to an “action” reflects these basic principles. Town of Burnside v. City of Independence, 2016 WI App 94, 372 Wis. 2d 802, 889 N.W.2d 186, 16-0034.
893.11 893.11 Extension of time if no person to sue. The fact that there is no person in existence who is authorized to bring an action on a cause of action at the time it accrues shall not extend the time within which, according to this chapter, an action may be commenced upon the cause of action to more than double the period otherwise prescribed by law.
893.11 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.11 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.50 renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893 and revised for the purpose of textual clarity only. [Bill 326-A]
893.12 893.12 Advance payment of damages; limitation extended. The period fixed for the limitation for the commencement of actions, if a payment is made as described in s. 885.285 (1), shall be either the period of time remaining under the original statute of limitations or 3 years from the date of the last payment made under s. 885.285 (1), whichever is greater.
893.12 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.12 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is created to place the statute extending statute of limitations when there has been a settlement and advance payment of claim for damages into the subchapter of chapter 893 on extension of statute of limitations. The provisions of prior s. 885.285 (4) are contained without change in newly created s. 893.12. [Bill 326-A]
893.12 Annotation Any payment made in advance or settlement of either personal injury or property damage claims, when the plaintiff has both, extends the limitation for a personal injury claim, if it is made within the 3-year limit period of s. 893.54 (1). Abraham v. Milwaukee Mutual Insurance Co. 115 Wis. 2d 678, 341 N.W.2d 414 (Ct. App. 1983).
893.12 Annotation This section does not apply to foreign causes of action. Section 893.07 (1) prevents s. 893.12 from extending foreign statutes of limitation. Thimm v. Automatic Sprinkler Corp. 148 Wis. 2d 332, 434 N.W.2d 842 (Ct. App. 1988).
893.12 Annotation The tolling provision applies only to the party that received a settlement or advance payment under s. 885.285. It does not apply to a stranger to the settlement. Riley v. Doe, 152 Wis. 2d 766, 449 N.W.2d 83 (Ct. App. 1989).
893.12 Annotation For a period of limitations to be extended under this section as the result of a “payment" by check, the check must be accepted and negotiated. Parr v. Milwaukee Bldg. & Const. Trades, 177 Wis. 2d 140, 501 N.W.2d 858 (Ct. App. 1993).
893.12 Annotation To be a payment under s. 885.285 that will toll or extend the statute of limitations, a payment must be related to fault or liability. Gurney v. Heritage Mutual Insurance Co. 188 Wis. 2d 68, 523 N.W.2d 193 (Ct. App. 1994).
893.12 Annotation The waiver by the defendant medical provider in a medical malpractice action of the copayment portion of the amount due for the plaintiff's medical treatment did not constitute a payment under s. 885.285 or 893.12. Young v. Aurora Medical Center, 2004 WI App 71, 272 Wis. 2d 300, 679 N.W.2d 549, 03-0224.
893.13 893.13 Tolling of statutes of limitation.
893.13(1)(1)In this section and ss. 893.14 and 893.15 “final disposition" means the end of the period in which an appeal may be taken from a final order or judgment of the trial court, the end of the period within which an order for rehearing can be made in the highest appellate court to which an appeal is taken, or the final order or judgment of the court to which remand from an appellate court is made, whichever is latest.
893.13(2) (2)A law limiting the time for commencement of an action is tolled by the commencement of the action to enforce the cause of action to which the period of limitation applies. The law limiting the time for commencement of the action is tolled for the period from the commencement of the action until the final disposition of the action.
893.13(3) (3)If a period of limitation is tolled under sub. (2) by the commencement of an action and the time remaining after final disposition in which an action may be commenced is less than 30 days, the period within which the action may be commenced is extended to 30 days from the date of final disposition.
893.13 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.13 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: Section 893.35 is repealed and this section created to clarify the ending of the tolled period of a statute of limitations in the various situations which can arise when an appeal is taken.
893.13 Note Sub. (3) would apply when, for example, an action was commenced when the period of limitation has only 5 days left to run. The running of the period of limitation is tolled for the period from commencement of the action until the day of its final disposition, such as dismissal of the action based on the pleadings. A 30-day period is then provided (rather than the 5 days left on the original period of limitation) in order to provide a reasonable time for a party to consider whether to recommence the action. [Bill 326-A]
893.13 Annotation This section does not toll the statute to allow an independent claim by an insurer. It simply insures that the joinder of constituent parts of a cause of action during the pendency of the action is not frustrated by the application of the appropriate statute of limitations. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. v. Owens, 191 Wis. 2d 745, 530 N.W.2d 51 (Ct. App. 1995).
893.13 Annotation The filing of an action, subsequently voluntarily dismissed, tolls the statute of limitations under sub. (2) for the period specified in sub. (1) for cases in which no appeal is taken. Johnson v. County of Crawford, 195 Wis. 2d 374, 536 N.W.2d 167 (Ct. App. 1995), 95-0144.
893.13 Annotation A suit filed prior to the expiration of the 120-day period for a denial of claim under s. 893.80 is not truly commenced and does not toll the statute of limitations when filed. Colby v. Columbia County, 202 Wis. 2d 342, 550 N.W.2d 124 (1996), 93-3348.
893.13 Annotation To interpret this statute to mean that a plaintiff's timely lawsuit tolled the statute of limitations as to all other possible victims would abrogate the statute of limitations. Such an interpretation would lead to absurd results and render meaningless the statute of limitations in multiple-victim cases. Barnes v. WISCO Hotel Group, 2009 WI App 72, 318 Wis. 2d 537, 767 N.W.2d 352, 08-1884.
893.13 Annotation Aetna does not establish that whenever a person intervenes in a pending lawsuit, asserting claims identical to, although not constituent of, those of the original parties, the intervenor receives the benefit of tolling under sub. (2). Only a person having one of the 3 “constituent parts” of an original, timely cause of action under s. 803.03 (2) (a), i.e. subrogation, derivation, or assignment, may successfully intervene in a pending action without regard to the statute of limitations. Town of Burnside v. City of Independence, 2016 WI App 94, 372 Wis. 2d 802, 889 N.W.2d 186, 16-0034.
893.135 893.135 Tolling of statute of limitations for marital property agreements. Any statute of limitations applicable to an action to enforce a marital property agreement under ch. 766 is tolled as provided under s. 766.58 (13).
893.135 History History: 1985 a. 37; 1987 a. 393.
893.137 893.137 Tolling of statute of limitations for certain time-share actions. Any statute of limitations affecting the right of an association organized under s. 707.30 (2) or a time-share owner, as defined in s. 707.02 (31), against a developer, as defined in s. 707.02 (11), is tolled as provided in s. 707.34 (1) (bm).
893.137 History History: 1987 a. 399.
893.14 893.14 Limitation on use of a right of action as a defense or counterclaim. Unless otherwise specifically prescribed by law, the period within which a cause of action may be used as a defense or counterclaim is computed from the time of the accrual of the cause of action until the time that the plaintiff commences the action in which the defense or counterclaim is made. A law limiting the time for commencement of an action is tolled by the assertion of the defense or the commencement of the counterclaim until final disposition of the defense or counterclaim. If a period of limitation is tolled under this section and the time remaining after final disposition in which an action may be commenced is less than 30 days, the period within which the action may be commenced is extended to 30 days from the date of final disposition.
893.14 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.14 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is based upon previous ss. 893.48 and 893.49. The section provides, however, that a statute of limitations is tolled only from the assertion of the defense or counterclaim until the final disposition of the defense or counterclaim. Under previous s. 893.49 a statute of limitations was tolled from the commencement of the action in which the defense or counterclaim was asserted until the termination of the action. [Bill 326-A]
893.14 Annotation When an action to recover damages for injuries to the person is commenced as a counterclaim pursuant to this section, the statute of limitations established by s. 893.54 applies. The tolling of the statute of limitation under this section begins on the date the defendant files the counterclaim. The phrase “unless otherwise specifically prescribed by law" applies to counterclaims that were already barred at the time the plaintiff filed his or her claim; such claims are not resurrected by the plaintiff's filing. Donaldson v. West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, 2009 WI App 134, 321 Wis. 2d 244, 773 N.W.2d 470, 08-2289.
893.14 Annotation In determining whether a client exercised reasonable diligence to discover a claim against its attorney, the existence of a fiduciary relationship, rather than excusing a client entirely from its obligation to investigate, is merely one factor to be considered. Under the circumstances of this case, although a fiduciary relationship existed, the client was a sophisticated corporate actor and that its president and CEO harbored suspicions about the attorney's conduct for approximately one year before the transaction in question closed. Those facts gave rise to a duty to investigate, regardless of the fiduciary relationship. Sands v. Menard, 2016 WI App 76, 372 Wis. 2d 126, 887 N.W.2d 94, 12-2377.
893.14 AnnotationAffirmed on other grounds. Sands v. Menard, 2017 WI 110, 379 Wis. 2d 1, 904 N.W.2d 789, 12-2377.
893.15 893.15 Effect of an action in a non-Wisconsin forum on a Wisconsin cause of action.
893.15(1)(1)In this section “a non-Wisconsin forum" means all courts, state and federal, in states other than this state and federal courts in this state.
893.15(2) (2)In a non-Wisconsin forum, the time of commencement or final disposition of an action is determined by the local law of the forum.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 5 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on April 21, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after May 11, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 5-11-19)