A plaintiff alleging that he or she developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos does not have a legally cognizable claim until he or she is actually diagnosed. Although the plaintiff in this case was allegedly exposed to asbestos between 1970 and 1973, he was not diagnosed with mesothelioma until 2016 and therefore did not have a claim until that time. Accordingly, the circuit court properly applied the version of the statute that was in effect at the time of the plaintiff's diagnosis. Nooyen v. Wisconsin Electric Power Co., 2020 WI App 9
, 390 Wis. 2d 687
, 939 N.W.2d 621
In this case, although the placement of stone cladding on the house may have hidden the mortar from view and obscured the fact that flashing had not been installed, there was no evidence to suggest that the defendants placed the stone on the home with the intent to conceal any alleged defects from the home owners. Absent such evidence of intent, the fact that the defendants' work was allegedly defective was not sufficient, in and of itself, to show that they engaged in fraud, concealment, or misrepresentation, as required by the exception under sub. (4) (a). Wascher v. ABC Insurance Co., 2022 WI App 10
, 401 Wis. 2d 94
, 972 N.W.2d 162
Although the statute of repose under sub. (2) applies to actions “to recover damages," the statute of repose applied to the plaintiffs' claim for injunctive relief in this case. The plaintiffs sought an injunction ordering the defendants to perform remedial work at the plaintiffs' home, a request that was not aimed at preventing some future conduct by the defendants that would injure the plaintiffs or violate their rights. Rather, the request for injunctive relief was, at its core, remedial in nature—it sought to remedy allegedly deficient work that the defendants had already performed. Wascher v. ABC Insurance Co., 2022 WI App 10
, 401 Wis. 2d 94
, 972 N.W.2d 162
Real estate appraisers; limitations of actions. 893.895(1)(b)
“Client” means a person for whom an appraisal report is prepared.
Except as provided in subs. (3)
, an action to recover damages based on tort, contract, or other legal theory against a real estate appraiser licensed or certified under ch. 458
for an act or omission in the performance of real estate appraisal services shall be commenced within 5 years after the date the real estate appraiser submits the appraisal report to the client for whom the services are performed or be barred.
If a person sustains damages covered under sub. (2)
and the statute of limitations applicable to those damages bars commencement of the cause of action before the end of the period specified in sub. (2)
, then that statute of limitations applies.
This section does not apply to a real estate appraiser who commits fraud or concealment in the performance of real estate appraisal services.
History: 2021 a. 194
Bond; campaign financing; lobbying. 893.90(1)(1)
An action by the state or any of its departments or agencies or by any county, town, village, city, school district, technical college district or other municipal unit to recover any sum of money by reason of the breach of an official bond or the breach of a bond of any nature, whether required by law or not, given by a public officer or any agent or employee of a governmental unit shall be commenced within 3 years after the governmental unit receives knowledge of the fact that a default has occurred in some of the conditions of the bond and that it was damaged because of the default or be barred.
Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous ss. 893.20 and 893.205 (3) renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
Action for expenses related to a forest fire.
An action by a state or town under s. 26.14 (9) (b)
to recover expenses incurred in the suppression of a forest fire shall be commenced within 2 years of the setting of the fire or be barred.
History: 1979 c. 323
Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section has been created to place into ch. 893 the statute of limitation for an action to recover expenses related to fighting a forest fire. See the note following s. 26.14 (9) (b). [Bill 326-A]
Action for contribution.
An action for contribution based on tort, if the right of contribution does not arise out of a prior judgment allocating the comparative negligence between the parties, shall be commenced within one year after the cause of action accrues or be barred.
History: 1979 c. 323
Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979: This section is previous s. 893.22 (4) renumbered for more logical placement in restructured ch. 893. [Bill 326-A]
A claim for contribution accrues when payment is made. Milwaukee Mutual Insurance Co. v. Priewe, 118 Wis. 2d 318
, 348 N.W.2d 585
(Ct. App. 1984).
Action for certain damages related to mining. 893.925(1)(1)
A claim against the mining damage appropriation under s. 107.31
to recover damages for mining-related injuries shall be brought within 3 years of the date on which the death occurs or the injury was or should have been known.
An action to recover damages for mining-related injuries under s. 107.32
shall be brought within 3 years of the date on which the death or injury occurs unless the department of safety and professional services gives written notice within the time specified in this subsection that a claim has been filed with it under sub. (1)
, in which case an action based on the claim may be brought against the person to whom the notice is given within one year after the final resolution, including any appeal, of the claim or within the time specified in this subsection, whichever is longer.
In this subsection “
date of injury" means the date on which the evidence of injury, resulting from the act upon which the action is based, is sufficient to alert the injured party to the possibility of the injury. The injury need not be of such magnitude as to identify the causal factor.
History: 1979 c. 353
; Stats. 1979 s. 893.207; 1979 c. 355
; Stats. 1979 s. 893.925; 1995 a. 27
, 9116 (5)
; 2011 a. 32
Miscellaneous actions. 893.93(1)(1)
The following actions shall be commenced within 6 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred:
An action upon a claim, whether arising on contract or otherwise, against a decedent or against a decedent's estate, unless probate of the estate in this state is commenced within 6 years after the decedent's death.
The following actions shall be commenced within 3 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred:
An action upon a liability created by statute when a different limitation is not prescribed by law.
An action for relief on the ground of fraud. The cause of action in such case is not deemed to have accrued until the discovery, by the aggrieved party, of the facts constituting the fraud.
The following actions shall be commenced within 2 years after the cause of action accrues or be barred:
An action by a private party upon a statute penalty, or forfeiture when the action is given to the party prosecuting therefor and the state, except when the statute imposing it provides a different limitation.
An action to recover a forfeiture or penalty imposed by any bylaw, ordinance or regulation of any town, county, city or village or of any corporation or limited liability company organized under the laws of this state, when no other limitation is prescribed by law.
The following actions shall be commenced within one year after the cause of action accrues or be barred:
An action against a sheriff or other officer for the escape of a prisoner arrested or imprisoned on civil process.
An action by a drainage board for damages under s. 88.92 (2)
shall be commenced within 3 years after the drainage board discovers the fact, or with the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered the fact of the damage, whichever comes first, or be barred.
Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1979:
This section has been created to place in one location within restructured ch. 893 various miscellaneous statutes of limitation for easier reference and use. Sub. (1) (a) is previous s. 893.19 (4). Sub. (1) (b) is previous s. 893.19 (7). Sub. (1) (c) is previous s. 893.19 (9). Sub. (1) (d) is previous s. 893.19 (10). Sub. (2) (a) is previous s. 893.21 (1) with a comma placed after the word “penalty" in order to have the section accurately reflect the decision in Grengs v. 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, 232 F.2d 325
(1956). Sub. (2) (b) is previous s. 893.21 (4). Sub. (3) (a) is previous s. 893.22 (1). Sub. (3) (b) is previous s. 893.22 (3). [Bill 326-A]
If the complaint does not allege the requisite elements for a cause of action based on fraud, s. 893.19 (7) [now sub. (1m) (b)] does not apply. Demos v. Carey, 50 Wis. 2d 262
, 184 N.W.2d 117
A complaint alleging employment discrimination on the basis of sex and seeking back-pay damages is an action upon a liability created by statute, and in the absence of any other applicable limitation, the six-year limitation of s. 893.19 (4) [now sub. (1m) (a)] applies. Yanta v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 66 Wis. 2d 53
, 224 N.W.2d 389
When unreasonable delay in bringing suit prejudices the defendant because of the death of a key witness, laches will bar suit even if the s. 893.19 (7) [now sub. (1m) (b)] statute of limitations does not. Schafer v. Wegner, 78 Wis. 2d 127
, 254 N.W.2d 193
Complaints under the open meetings law are not brought in the individual capacity of the plaintiff but on behalf of the state, subject to the two-year statute of limitations under sub. (2). Leung v. City of Lake Geneva, 2003 WI App 129
, 265 Wis. 2d 674
, 666 N.W.2d 104
Sub. (1) (a) [now sub. (1m) (a)] does not apply to a professional disciplinary proceeding, the focus of which is to monitor and supervise the performance of a person who has been granted the privilege of a license in this state. Krahenbuhl v. Wisconsin Dentistry Examining Board, 2004 WI App 147
, 275 Wis. 2d 626
, 685 N.W.2d 591
Claims for injury caused by an Archdiocese's alleged fraudulent misrepresentation that the Archdiocese did not know that priests it assigned had histories of sexually abusing children and did not know the priests were dangerous to children were independent claims based on the Archdiocese's alleged knowledge of the priests' prior sexual molestation of children and the Archdiocese's intent to deceive children and their families and not derivative of the underlying sexual molestations by the priests. The date of the accrual of the fraud claims was when the plaintiffs discovered or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have discovered that the Archdiocese's alleged fraud was a cause of their injuries. John Doe v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 2007 WI 95
, 303 Wis. 2d 34
, 734 N.W.2d 827
It is not necessary that a defrauded party have knowledge of the ultimate fact of fraud. What is required is that it be in possession of such essential facts as will, if diligently investigated, disclose the fraud. The burden of diligent inquiry is upon the defrauded party as soon as he or she has such information as indicates where the facts constituting the fraud can be discovered. John Doe v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 2007 WI 95
, 303 Wis. 2d 34
, 734 N.W.2d 827
The six-year limitations period found in sub. (1) (a) [now sub. (1m) (a)] applies to actions under the Uniform Fiduciaries Act, s. 112.01. Willowglen Academy-Wisconsin, Inc. v. Connelly Interiors, Inc., 2008 WI App 35
, 307 Wis. 2d 776
, 746 N.W.2d 570
The limitation period under sub. (1) (b) [now sub. (1m) (b)] was tolled when the victim had “sufficient knowledge to make a reasonable person aware of the need for diligent investigation." Stockman v. La Croix, 790 F.2d 584
A cause of action under sub. (1) (b) [now sub. (1m) (b)] accrues on the discovery of the fraud. Discovery occurs when the party has knowledge that would cause a reasonable person to make sufficient inquiry to discover the fraud. Owen v. Wangerin, 985 F.2d 312
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., 763 F.3d 743
Wisconsin courts have applied the two-year limitations period under sub. (2) (a) to actions that principally benefit the public at large, a “statute penalty," and the six-year limitations period under sub. (1) (a) to actions that principally benefit the plaintiff at issue. Because a claim under s. 146.83 (3f) (b) is primarily private in nature and does not result in a statute penalty for the public's benefit, the six-year limitations period of sub. (1) (a) applies. Although s. 146.84 (1) (b) and (bm) authorize exemplary damages, what matters is who, on balance, the cause of action benefits—the private individual or the general public. Smith v. RecordQuest, LLC, 989 F.3d 513
Section 551.59 (5) applies to actions arising out of sales of securities under SEC rules, rather than s. 893.19 (7) [now sub. (1m) (b)]. Kramer v. Loewi & Co., 357 F. Supp. 83
Section 893.21 (1) [now sub. (2) (a)] did not control an action by the EEOC charging discrimination in employment when the statute limited only acts brought by a “private party" and the EEOC is a federal agency enforcing public policy. Equal Employment Opportunity Comm. v. Laacke & Joys Co., 375 F. Supp. 852
Section 893.19 (4) [now sub. (1m) (a)] governs civil rights actions. Minor v. Lakeview Hospital, 421 F. Supp. 485
Section 893.19 (4) [now sub. (1m) (a)] governed an action under federal law against an oil refiner for compensatory damages for alleged overcharges. Section 893.21 (1) [now sub. (2) (a)] governed an action for treble damages. U.S. Oil Co. v. Koch Refining Co., 497 F. Supp. 1125
The defendant in a civil rights action was estopped from pleading the statute of limitations when its own fraudulent conduct prevented the plaintiff from timely filing suit. Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 498 F. Supp. 1339
At a minimum, actions for contractual rescission based on negligent or strict responsibility misrepresentation sound in contract, not tort, at least under Wisconsin law, and are not actions “on the ground of fraud" under sub. (1) (b) [now sub. (1m) (b)]. If all misrepresentations—intentional, negligent, and strict responsibility—were “fraudulent," there would be no need for the second category of “material" misrepresentations. CMFG Life Insurance Co. v. UBS Securities, 30 F. Supp. 3d 822
Organized crime control; civil remedies.
Any civil action arising under ss. 946.80
is subject to the limitations under s. 946.88 (1)
History: 1981 c. 280
; 1989 a. 121
Unclaimed property; civil remedies.
Any civil action to enforce ch. 177
is subject to the limitations under s. 177.0610
History: 1983 a. 408
; 2021 a. 87
History: 1987 a. 287
History: 2015 a. 345
History: 1989 a. 44
History: 1997 a. 237
History: 2005 a. 197
NOTE: Statutes not contained in this chapter that relate to or impose time restrictions on asserting a claim or a cause of action include, but are not limited to, the following:
Bank deposits and collections
Bridge, lien for damages related to
Business closing notification, claims and actions
s. 109.07 (4)
Child, rehearing on status
Construction lien, bond, notice