544.41 PRODUCT LIABILITY; LIMIT ON LIABILITY OF NONMANUFACTURERS.
Subdivision 1. Product liability; requirements.
In any product liability action based in
whole or in part on strict liability in tort commenced or maintained against a defendant other than
the manufacturer, that party shall upon answering or otherwise pleading file an affidavit certifying
the correct identity of the manufacturer of the product allegedly causing injury, death or damage.
The commencement of a product liability action based in whole or part on strict liability in
tort against a certifying defendant shall toll the applicable statute of limitation relative to the
defendant for purposes of asserting a strict liability in tort cause of action.
Subd. 2. Certifying defendant; dismissal of strict liability.
Once the plaintiff has filed a
complaint against a manufacturer and the manufacturer has or is required to have answered or
otherwise pleaded, the court shall order the dismissal of a strict liability in tort claim against the
certifying defendant, provided the certifying defendant is not within the categories set forth in
subdivision 3. Due diligence shall be exercised by the certifying defendant in providing the
plaintiff with the correct identity of the manufacturer and due diligence shall be exercised by the
plaintiff in filing a law suit and obtaining jurisdiction over the manufacturer.
The plaintiff may at any time subsequent to dismissal move to vacate the order of dismissal
and reinstate the certifying defendant, provided plaintiff can show one of the following:
(a) that the applicable statute of limitation bars the assertion of a strict liability in tort cause
of action against the manufacturer of the product allegedly causing the injury, death or damage;
(b) that the identity of the manufacturer given to the plaintiff by the certifying defendant
was incorrect. Once the correct identity of the manufacturer has been given by the certifying
defendant the court shall again dismiss the certifying defendant;
(c) that the manufacturer no longer exists, cannot be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts
of this state, or, despite due diligence, the manufacturer is not amenable to service of process;
(d) that the manufacturer is unable to satisfy any judgment as determined by the court; or
(e) that the court determines that the manufacturer would be unable to satisfy a reasonable
settlement or other agreement with plaintiff.
Subd. 3. Dismissal order prohibited.
A court shall not enter a dismissal order relative to
any certifying defendant even though full compliance with subdivision 1 has been made where
the plaintiff can show one of the following:
(a) that the defendant has exercised some significant control over the design or manufacture
of the product, or has provided instructions or warnings to the manufacturer relative to the alleged
defect in the product which caused the injury, death or damage;
(b) that the defendant had actual knowledge of the defect in the product which caused the
injury, death or damage; or
(c) that the defendant created the defect in the product which caused the injury, death
Subd. 4. Limiting constructing laws.
Nothing contained in subdivisions 1 to 3 shall be
construed to create a cause of action in strict liability in tort or based on other legal theory, or to
affect the right of any person to seek and obtain indemnity or contribution.
History: 1980 c 614 s 156