The Alabama Supreme Court has made a drastic change in lawsuits arising out of wanton conduct. In a case decided recently, the Court held that the statute of limitations for such cases is now two years, instead of six years, as it has been for a long time. The ruling will not apply retroactively and will apply prospectively to cases filed after the ruling came down. I understand there will be a request for a rehearing in this case. As I read the decision, a party has two years from the date of the decision to file a wantonness claim that accrued before the decision unless the six year statute of limitations would expire before the end of that two year period. If the claim accrued more than four years ago, a party has a six year period to file a wantonness claim. If the claim accrued less than four years ago, a party would have two years from June 3, 2011 to file the wantonness claim. If that seems confusing, that’s because it is.
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