893.43(2) (2) An action upon a motor vehicle insurance policy described in s. 632.32 (1) shall be commenced within 3 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred. A cause of action involving underinsured motorist coverage, as defined in s. 632.32 (2) (d), or uninsured motorist coverage, as defined in s. 632.32 (2) (f), accrues on the date there is final resolution of the underlying cause of action by the injured party against the tortfeasor.
893.43 History History: 1979 c. 323; 2015 a. 133.
893.43 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.19 (3) renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
893.43 Annotation A bonus plan to compensate for increased profits is a contract. Younger v. Rosenow Paper & Supply Co. 51 Wis. 2d 619, 188 N.W.2d 507 (1971).
893.43 Annotation An action to recover benefits under a pension plan is an action to enforce a contract, not an action for wages. Estate of Schroeder v. Gateway Transportation Co., Inc. 53 Wis. 2d 59, 191 N.W.2d 860 (1971).
893.43 Annotation An action for personal injuries resulting from medical malpractice, although based on contract, is subject to the 3-year limitation for injuries to the person. Estate of Kohls v. Brah, 57 Wis. 2d 141, 203 N.W.2d 666 (1973).
893.43 Annotation An action by an insured against an insurance agent for failing to procure requested coverage is not an action against the insurer on the policy, but is an action resting upon the agent's contract with the insured to procure the insurance coverage agreed upon subject to the statute of limitations for contract. Estate of Ensz v. Brown Insurance Agency, Inc. 66 Wis. 2d 193, 223 N.W.2d 903 (1974).
893.43 Annotation A cause of action for contribution is based upon a contract implied by law and must be brought within 6 years after one joint tortfeasor has paid more than his or her share. Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. Osborn Plumbing, 66 Wis. 2d 454, 225 N.W.2d 628 (1975).
893.43 Annotation When an employer deducted a “hypothetical tax factor" from salaries of its overseas employees so as to equalize compensation of its employees worldwide, an action to recover amounts so deducted had to be brought within the limitation period on wage claims, and not the period on other contract claims. Sussmann v. Gleisner, 80 Wis. 2d 435, 259 N.W.2d 114 (1977).
893.43 Annotation If the object of a disputed contract is the end product or fruit of human labor rather than the labor per se, s. 893.19 (3) [now s. 893.43], applies rather than s. 893.21 (5) [now s. 893.44]. Rupp v. O'Connor, 81 Wis. 2d 436, 261 N.W.2d 815 (1978).
893.43 Annotation Partial payment of an obligation made prior to the running of the statute of limitations tolls the statute and sets it running from the date of payment. St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center v. Tarkenton, 103 Wis. 2d 422, 309 N.W.2d 14 (Ct. App. 1981).
893.43 Annotation A breach of a roofing contract occurred when the faulty roof was completed, not when the building was completed. State v. Holland Plastics Co. 111 Wis. 2d 497, 331 N.W.2d 320 (1983).
893.43 Annotation An unjust enrichment claim accrues when a cohabitational relationship terminates. The court does not determine what statute of limitations, if any, applies. Watts (Bischoff) v. Watts, 152 Wis. 2d 370, 448 N.W.2d 292 (Ct. App. 1989).
893.43 Annotation A contract cause of action accrues at the time of the breach. The discovery rule is inapplicable. CLL Associates v. Arrowhead Pacific, 174 Wis. 2d 604, 497 N.W.2d 115 (1993).
893.43 Annotation This section applies to actions for the recovery of sales commissions. Erdman v. Jovoco, Inc. 181 Wis. 2d 736, 512 N.W.2d 487 (1994).
893.43 Annotation A party's deficient performance of a contract does not give rise to a tort claim. There must be a duty independent of the contract for a cause of action in tort. Atkinson v. Everbrite, Inc. 224 Wis. 2d 724, 592 N.W.2d 299 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-1806.
893.43 Annotation For actions seeking coverage under an underinsured motorist policy, the statute of limitations begins to run from the date of loss, which is the date on which a final resolution is reached in the underlying claim against the tortfeasor, be it through denial of that claim, settlement, judgment, execution of releases, or other form of resolution, whichever is the latest. Yocherer v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 2002 WI 41, 252 Wis. 2d 114, 643 N.W.2d 457, 00-0944.
893.43 Annotation The label of the documents here — “access easement agreement" — and the fact that each was signed by both parties did not transform the grants of easement into contracts subject to contract law. The plaintiffs alleged that a driveway could not be built on the easements described in the agreements because of a wetland delineation and sought a modification of the easements. This claim for relief was an action to enforce the recorded easements, albeit a modified version, and was therefore governed by s. 893.33 (6), not the contract statute, s. 893.43.
893.43 Annotation An unconscionability of contract claim is governed by this section. Dairyland Power Coop. v. Amax Inc. 700 F. Supp. 979 (1986).
893.43 Annotation Rescission is not an “action upon the contract," as that phrase is used in this section. CMFG Life Insurance Company v. RBS Securities, Incorporated, 799 F3d 729 (2015).
893.44 893.44 Compensation for personal service.
893.44(1) (1) Any action to recover unpaid salary, wages or other compensation for personal services, except actions to recover fees for professional services and except as provided in sub. (2), shall be commenced within 2 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred.
893.44(2) (2) An action to recover wages under s. 109.09 shall be commenced within 2 years after the claim is filed with the department of workforce development or be barred.
893.44 History History: 1979 c. 323; 1985 a. 220; 1995 a. 27 s. 9130 (4); 1997 a. 3.
893.44 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.21 (5) renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. Actions to collect fees for professional services are brought under s. 893.43. [Bill 326-A]
893.44 Annotation A stock-purchase plan as a reward for increased profits is not subject to s. 893.21 (5) [now s. 893.44]. Younger v. Rosenow Paper & Supply Co. 51 Wis. 2d 619, 188 N.W.2d 507 (1971).
893.44 Annotation Professional services by a physician or attorney, although not customarily performed in the profession, may be classified as professional if requested by reason of the professional's expertise and training, if the professional then utilizes that knowledge and training. If the services are so classified depends upon the facts of the particular employment. Lorenz v. Dreske, 62 Wis. 2d 273, 214 N.W.2d 753 (1974).
893.44 Annotation Section 893.21 (5) [now s. 893.44] does not apply unless services are actually rendered. Yanta v. Montgomery Ward & Co., Inc. 66 Wis. 2d 53, 224 N.W.2d 389 (1974).
893.44 Annotation If the object of a disputed contract is the end product or fruit of human labor rather than the labor per se, s. 893.19 (3) [now s. 893.43] applies rather than s. 893.21 (5) [now s. 893.44]. Rupp v. O'Connor, 81 Wis. 2d 436, 261 N.W.2d 815 (1978).
893.44 Annotation An unjust enrichment claim accrues when a cohabitational relationship terminates. The court does not determine which statute of limitations, if any, applies. Watts (Bischoff) v. Watts, 152 Wis. 2d 370, 448 N.W.2d 292 (Ct. App. 1989).
893.44 Annotation This section applies only to actions for wages already earned. Lovett v. Mt. Senario College, Inc. 154 Wis. 2d 831, 454 N.W.2d 356 (Ct. App. 1990).
893.44 Annotation This section does not apply to actions for the recovery of sales commissions. Erdman v. Jovoco, Inc. 181 Wis. 2d 736, 512 N.W.2d 487 (1994).
893.44 Annotation The distinguishing feature of personal services under this section is whether the human labor itself is sought and is the object of the compensation or whether the end-product of the service is purchased. Paulson v. Shapiro, 490 F.2d 1 (1973).
893.45 893.45 Acknowledgment or new promise. No acknowledgment or promise shall be sufficient evidence of a new or continuing contract, whereby to take the cause out of the operation of this chapter, unless the same be contained in some writing signed by the party to be charged thereby.
893.45 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.45 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.42 renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
893.46 893.46 Acknowledgment, who not bound by. If there are 2 or more joint contractors or joint personal representatives of any contractor, no such joint contractor or joint personal representative shall lose the benefit of this chapter so as to be chargeable by reason only of any acknowledgment or promise made by any other of them.
893.46 History History: 1979 c. 323; 2001 a. 102.
893.46 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.43 renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
893.47 893.47 Actions against parties jointly liable. In actions commenced against 2 or more joint contractors or joint personal representatives of any contractors, if it shall appear, on the trial or otherwise, that the plaintiff is barred by this chapter as to one or more of the defendants but is entitled to recover against any other or others of them by virtue of a new acknowledgment or promise or otherwise, judgment shall be given for the plaintiff as to any of the defendants against whom the plaintiff is entitled to recover and for the other defendant or defendants against the plaintiff.
893.47 History History: 1979 c. 323; 2001 a. 102.
893.47 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.44 renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
893.48 893.48 Payment, effect of, not altered. Nothing contained in ss. 893.44 to 893.47 shall alter, take away or lessen the effect of a payment of any principal or interest made by any person, but no endorsement or memorandum of any such payment, written or made upon any promissory note, bill of exchange or other writing, by or on behalf of the party to whom the payment is made or purports to be made, is sufficient proof of the payment so as to take the case out of the operation of this chapter.
893.48 History History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 784 (1975); 1979 c. 323.
893.48 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.46 renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
893.49 893.49 Payment by one not to affect others. If there are 2 or more joint contractors or joint personal representatives of any contractor, no one of them shall lose the benefit of this chapter so as to be chargeable by reason only of any payment made by any other of them.
893.49 History History: 1979 c. 323; 2001 a. 102.
893.49 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.47 renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
893.50 893.50 Other actions. All personal actions on any contract not limited by this chapter or any other law of this state shall be brought within 10 years after the accruing of the cause of action.
893.50 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.50 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.26 renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
subch. V of ch. 893 SUBCHAPTER V
TORT ACTIONS
893.51 893.51 Action for wrongful taking of personal property.
893.51(1)(1) Except as provided in sub. (2), an action to recover damages for the wrongful taking, conversion or detention of personal property shall be commenced within 6 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred. The cause of action accrues at the time the wrongful taking or conversion occurs, or the wrongful detention begins.
893.51(2) (2) An action under s. 134.90 shall be commenced within 3 years after the misappropriation of a trade secret is discovered or should have been discovered by the exercise of reasonable diligence. A continuing misappropriation constitutes a single claim.
893.51 History History: 1979 c. 323; 1985 a. 236.
893.51 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is based on previous s. 893.19 (6), without change in substance, but with some expansion of language to make clear that accrual of the cause of action is not delayed until the person bringing the action learns of the wrongful taking or detention. An action for recovery of the personal property is subject to s. 893.35 which is also based on previous s. 893.19 (6). [Bill 326-A]
893.52 893.52 Action for damages for injury to property.
893.52(1)(1) Except as provided in sub. (2) and in any other case where a different period is expressly prescribed, an action, not arising on contract, to recover damages for an injury to real or personal property shall be commenced within 6 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred.
893.52(2) (2) An action, not arising on contract, to recover damages for an injury to real or personal property that are caused or sustained by, or that arise from, an accident involving a motor vehicle shall be commenced within 3 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred.
893.52 History History: 1979 c. 323; 2015 a. 133.
893.52 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is based upon previous s. 893.19 (5) which is split into 2 separate provisions. See s. 893.53 for the other provision. [Bill 326-A]
893.52 Annotation Section 893.19 (5) [now s. 893.52] applies to actions based on negligent construction of dwellings. The statute begins to run when the plaintiff suffers injury. Abramowski v. Wm. Kilps Sons Realty, Inc. 80 Wis. 2d 468, 259 N.W.2d 306 (1977).
893.52 Annotation The limitation period begins when evidence of resultant injury is sufficiently significant to alert the injured party to the possibility of a defect. Tallmadge v. Skyline Construction, Inc. 86 Wis. 2d 356, 272 N.W.2d 404 (Ct. App. 1978).
893.52 Annotation In actions for legal malpractice, the date of injury, rather than the date of the negligent act, commences the period of limitations. Auric v. Continental Casualty Co. 111 Wis. 2d 507, 331 N.W.2d 325 (1983).
893.52 Annotation A cause of action accrues when the negligent act occurs, or the last in a continuum of negligent acts occur, and the plaintiff has a basis for objectively concluding that the defendant caused injuries and damages. Koplin v. Pioneer Power & Light, 162 Wis. 2d 1, 469 N.W.2d 595 (1991).
893.52 Annotation This section permits parties to contract for lesser limitations periods and to specify the day the period begins to run, in which case the “discovery rule" does not apply. Keiting v. Skauge, 198 Wis. 2d 887, 543 N.W.2d 565 (Ct. App. 1995), 95-2259.
893.52 Annotation A claim for asbestos property damage accrues when the plaintiff is informed of the presence of asbestos and that precautions are necessary. Banc One Building Management Corp. v. W.R. Grace Co. 210 Wis. 2d 62, 565 N.W.2d 154 (Ct. App. 1997), 95-3193.
893.52 Annotation In the case of a claim for faulty workmanship, a builder's representation can result in a justifiable delay in discovering the cause of an injury. Whether the plaintiff's course of conduct is reasonable is a question of fact. Williams v. Kaerek Builders, Inc. 212 Wis. 2d 150, 568 N.W.2d 313 (Ct. App. 1997), 96-2396.
893.52 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.
893.52 Annotation A party's deficient performance of a contract does not give rise to a tort claim. There must be a duty independent of the contract for a cause of action in tort. Atkinson v. Everbrite, Inc. 224 Wis. 2d 724, 592 N.W.2d 299 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-1806.
893.52 Annotation The accrual of a stray voltage claim is governed by the discovery rule. When the defendant utility went to the farm 3 times and found no problem, the plaintiff could not be faulted for accepting the results of the utility's testing and continuing to search for other possible sources of the problem. Allen v. Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, 2005 WI App 40, 279 Wis. 2d 488, 694 N.W.2d 420, 03-2690.
893.52 Annotation Section 893.57, and not this section, applies to a claim alleging intentional trespass. Because the existence of damages for injury to real property is not necessary to maintain a claim for intentional trespass, sub. (1) cannot govern an intentional trespass claim. Munger v. Seehafer, 2016 WI App 89, 372 Wis. 2d 749, 890 N.W.2d 22, 14-2594.
893.53 893.53 Action for injury to character or other rights. An action to recover damages for an injury to the character or rights of another, not arising on contract, shall be commenced within 6 years after the cause of action accrues, except where a different period is expressly prescribed, or be barred.
893.53 History History: 1979 c. 323.
893.53 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is based upon previous s. 893.19 (5) which is split into 2 provisions. See s. 893.52 for the other provision. [Bill 326]
893.53 Annotation This section applies to legal malpractice actions that sound in tort. Acharya v. Carroll, 152 Wis. 2d 330, 448 N.W.2d 275 (Ct. App. 1989).
893.53 Annotation The application of the discovery rule to legal malpractice actions is discussed. Hennekens v. Hoerl, 160 Wis. 2d 144, 465 N.W.2d 812 (1991).
893.53 Annotation This section and the discovery rule apply to engineering malpractice actions. Milwaukee Partners v. Collins Engineers, 169 Wis. 2d 355, 485 N.W.2d 274 (Ct. App. 1992).
893.53 Annotation This section is the state's general and residual personal injury statute of limitations and is applicable to 42 USC 1983 actions. Hemberger v. Bitzer, 216 Wis. 2d 509, 574 N.W.2d 656 (1998), 96-2973.
893.53 Annotation A party's deficient performance of a contract does not give rise to a tort claim. There must be a duty independent of the contract for a cause of action in tort. Atkinson v. Everbrite, Inc. 224 Wis. 2d 724, 592 N.W.2d 299 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-1806.
893.53 Annotation Even though a plaintiff might plead and testify to having suffered emotional distress on account of a lawyer's malpractice, that fact does not convert the claim into one seeking redress for injuries to the person. The underlying injuries in a legal malpractice claim are to rights and interests of a plaintiff that go beyond, or at least are different from, injuries to his or her person under s. 893.54. Hicks v. Nunnery, 2002 WI App 87, 253 Wis. 2d 721, 643 N.W.2d 809, 01-0751.
893.53 Annotation The residual or general personal injury statute of limitations applies to 42 USC 1983 actions. Owens v. Okure, 488 U.S. 235, 102 L. Ed. 2d 594 (1989).
893.53 Annotation This section applies to actions under Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Doe v. Milwaukee County, 871 F. Supp. 1072 (1995).
893.53 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also the notes to 893.54 for additional treatments of 42 USC 1983.
893.54 893.54 Injury to the person.
893.54(1m) (1m) Except as provided in sub. (2m), the following actions shall be commenced within 3 years or be barred:
893.54(1m)(a) (a) An action to recover damages for injuries to the person, including an action to recover damages for injuries to the person caused or sustained by or arising from an accident involving a motor vehicle.
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2017 Wis. Act 57 and all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before August 11, 2017. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after August 11, 2017 are designated by NOTES. (Published 8-11-17)