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[SOLVED!] What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Breach Of Contract In Illinois?

The statute of limitations period for a breach of contract claim in Illinois depends on the type of contract at issue. For a written contract (not involving the sale of goods), the limitations period is ten years. For an oral contract (not involving the sale of goods), the limitations period is five years. For a contract involving the sale of goods, the limitations period is four years, but the parties may agree to shorten the limitations period to not less than one year (they cannot extend it) 😎 When multiple statutes of limitation arguably apply to a claim, Illinois courts will analyze the statutory language against the subject matter of the claim, and apply the statute that ‘more specifically relates to the action’ 🔥 [1]
The statute of limitations for a claim begins on its accrual date. However, the accrual date will differ, depending on the type of claim that is brought. For example, in tort claims, the clock starts ticking when the party suffers an injury. Further, for tort claims, you will want to docket not only the normal accrual date but also the date your client potentially discovered that their injury was a result of tortious conduct. See Moon v. Rhode, 2016 IL 119572 (2016) (holding discovery rule applies to Wrongful Death and Survival actions); see also Carlson v. Fish, 2015 IL App (1st) 140526 (discussing the application of discovery rule in legal malpractice actions). Conversely, in breach of contract cases, the claim’s accrual begins when the contract is breached, not the date when damages occur. [2]
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Carlton Bland from, explains how so what was the applicable statute of limitations? There were two possibilities. The statute of limitations in Illinois for a written contract is 10 years. But, as an exception, under the Uniform Commercial Code Section 2-725, an action for breach of contract for the sale of goods must be commenced “within 4 years after the cause of action has accrued.” Both parties agreed that the latest time the claim accrued was October 21, 2011, the final sale under the distribution agreement. JTE sued Bimbo Foods on May 30, 2017. So the applicable statute of limitations was critical. If four years, JTE loses. If ten years, JTE’s claim could at least survive. (we truly appreciate Fabio Shoemaker from Birmingham, United Kingdom for bringing this to our attention). [3]
Image #3 offers further insight. 735 ILCS 5/13-209: Death of party—EffectIf the person entitled to bring an action dies before the tolling of the statute and the cause of action survives, the legal representative may commence the action before the expiration date or within 1 year from that person’s death, whichever is later. If a person against whom an action may be brought dies before the expiration date and the cause of action survives, an action may be commenced against the legal representative after the expiration date and within 6 months after the person’s death. If a party commences an action against a deceased person whose death is unknown to the party before the expiration of the time limited for the commencement thereof, and the cause of action survives, the action may be commenced against the deceased person’s representative if the party proceeds with reasonable diligence to move for leave to file an amended complaint, substitutes the representative as defendant, and serves process on the representative. If process is served more than 6 months after the issuance of letters of office, liability of the estate is limited to the extent the estate is covered by liability insurance. In no event may a party commence an action under these provisions unless a representative is appointed and an amended complaint filed within 2 years of the time limited for the commencement of the original claim. [4]
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As stated by the pros at, keep in mind that the following is a partial list with broad overviews; you should look at the actual law for nuances and exceptions. For example, either because the statute says so or a court has decided as much, a limitations period can start to run from the point that the’s having plaintiff known or should have known of an injury, rather than the date of the injury itself. A statute might even provide, for instance, that you have two years to bring an action from the date you knew or should have known that you suffered some kind of harm, but in no event do you have more than six years from the date of the event in question. Examining the law would provide you with that level of detail. [5]

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Mae Chow

Written by Mae Chow

Passionate about writing and studying Chinese, I blog about anything from fashion to food. And of course, study chinese! I'm a passionate blogger and life enthusiast who loves to share my thoughts, views and opinions with the world. I share things that are close to my heart as well as topics from all over the world.

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