2016 E. Supp.

A Tort Report: Christ v. Exxon Mobil and the Extension of the Discovery Rule to Third-Party Representatives of Decedents in Wrongful Death and Survival Suits

Abstract: On June 23, 2015, the Wisconsin Supreme Court allowed representatives of deceased employees of a tire manufacturing facility to use the “discovery rule” to extend the statute of limitations for their wrongful death and survival suits associated with the decedents’ forced benzene exposure at the facility, provided they could show the information necessary for making their claims had not been available upon diligent effort within the statute’s timeframe. The majority reasoned that public policy is in favor of allowing meritorious claims to be heard, there is no significant difference between direct victims and representatives to render an extension untenable, and the preservation of existing barriers to stale claims being heard will allow for the smooth extension of the discovery rule. This Comment argues in favor of the majority’s approach, as it best protects the ability of all tort victims to recover damages they are owed.

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