ASSEMBLY, No. 3929

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 5, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  VINCENT PRIETO

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

Assemblyman  CHARLES MAINOR

District 31 (Hudson)

Assemblywoman  AMY H. HANDLIN

District 13 (Middlesex and Monmouth)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires certain civil actions against certain licensed persons to be brought within two years.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning limitations of civil actions and amending N.J.S.2A:14-1.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.2A:14-1 is amended to read as follows:

     2A:14-1.  a. Every action at law for trespass to real property, for any tortious injury to real or personal property, for taking, detaining, or converting personal property, for replevin of goods or chattels, for any tortious injury to the rights of another not stated in [sections] N.J.S. 2A:14-2 and N.J.S. 2A:14-3 [of this Title], or for recovery upon a contractual claim or liability, express or implied, not under seal, or upon an account other than one which concerns the trade or merchandise between merchant and merchant, their factors, agents and servants, shall be commenced within 6 years next after the cause of any such action shall  have accrued.

     This section shall not apply to any action for breach of any contract for sale governed by [section] N.J.S.12A:2-725 [of the New Jersey Statutes] or to any action for professional malpractice against any of the persons listed in paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of subsection b. of this section.

     b.    An action for professional malpractice against any of the following persons shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of the action shall have accrued:

     (1)   Any person who is licensed as:

     (a)   an accountant pursuant to P.L.1997, c.259 (C.45:2B-42 et seq.);

     (b)   an architect pursuant to R.S.45:3-1 et seq.;

     (c)   an attorney admitted to practice law in New Jersey;

     (d)   a dentist pursuant to R.S.45:6-1 et seq.;

     (e)   an engineer pursuant to P.L.1938, c.342 (C.45:8-27 et seq.);

     (f)    a physician in the practice of medicine or surgery pursuant to R.S.45:9-1 et seq.;

     (g)   a podiatrist pursuant to R.S.45:5-1 et seq.;

     (h)   a chiropractor pursuant to P.L.1989, c.153 (C.45:9-41.17 et seq.);

     (i)    a registered professional nurse pursuant to P.L.1947, c.262 (C.45:11-23 et seq.) or an advanced practice nurse pursuant to P.L.1991, c.377 (C.45:11-45 et seq.);

     (j)    a health care facility as defined in section 2 of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-2);

     (k)   a physical therapist pursuant to P.L.1983, c.296 (C.45:9-37.11 et seq.);

     (l)    a land surveyor pursuant to P.L.1938, c.342 (C.45:8-27 et seq.);

     (m)  a registered pharmacist pursuant to P.L.2003, c.280 (C.45:14-40 et seq.);

     (n)   a veterinarian pursuant to R.S.45:16-1 et seq.;

     (o)   an insurance producer pursuant to P.L.2001, c.210 (C.17:22A-26 et seq.);

     (p)   a certified midwife, certified professional midwife, or certified nurse midwife  pursuant to R.S.45:10-1 et seq.; or

     (2)   any contractor, subcontractor or owner as defined in P.L.1993, c.318 (C.2A:44A-2).

     (3)   Attorneys’ fees shall not be awarded in any action subject to the limitations period in this subsection, except where authorized by statute or the New Jersey Rules of Court.

(cf: P.L.1961, c.121, s.1)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill shortens the statute of limitations period for malpractice actions against certain licensed persons.  Currently, N.J.S.A.2A:14-1 provides that certain civil actions must be brought within six years after the cause of action accrues.  Under the bill, actions for professional malpractice against any of the persons listed below would be required to be brought within two years:

     Any person who is licensed as:

     (a)   an accountant pursuant to P.L.1997, c.259 (C.45:2B-42 et seq.);

     (b)   an architect pursuant to R.S.45:3-1 et seq.;

     (c)   an attorney admitted to practice law in New Jersey;

     (d)   a dentist pursuant to R.S.45:6-1 et seq.;

     (e)   an engineer pursuant to P.L.1938, c.342 (C.45:8-27 et seq.);

     (f)    a physician in the practice of medicine or surgery pursuant to R.S.45:9-1 et seq.;

     (g)   a podiatrist pursuant to R.S.45:5-1 et seq.;

     (h)   a chiropractor pursuant to P.L.1989, c.153 (C.45:9-41.17 et seq.);

     (i)    a registered professional nurse pursuant to P.L.1947, c.262 (C.45:11-23 et seq.) or an advanced practice nurse pursuant to P.L.1991, c.377 (C.45:11-45 et seq.);

     (j)    a health care facility as defined in section 2 of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-2);

     (k)   a physical therapist pursuant to P.L.1983, c.296 (C.45:9-37.11 et seq.);

     (l)    a land surveyor pursuant to P.L.1938, c.342 (C.45:8-27 et seq.);

     (m)  a registered pharmacist pursuant to P.L.2003, c. 280 (C.45:14-40 et seq.);

     (n)   a veterinarian pursuant to R.S. 45:16-1 et seq.;

     (o)   an insurance producer pursuant to P.L.2001, c.210 (C.17:22A-26 et seq.);  or

     (p)   a certified midwife, certified professional midwife, or certified nurse midwife  pursuant to R.S.45:10-1 et seq.

     These persons are also listed in section 1 of P.L.1995, c.139 (C.2A:53A-26) except for advanced practice nurses.  P.L.1995, c.139 requires plaintiffs in actions for damages against these professionals to obtain an affidavit from another professional with expertise in the area.

     The bill also requires actions against contractors, subcontractors or owners as defined in P.L.1993, c.318 (C.2A:44A-2) to be brought within two years.

     In addition, the bill provides that attorneys’ fees could not be awarded in any action against these professionals except where authorized by statute or the New Jersey Rules of Court.