In New York, product liability suits brought under the theories of strict liability or negligence must be filed within three years after the cause of action occurred. N.Y. C.P.L.R. §214. The general rule in New York is that a "cause of action" begins to toll from the time the cause of action is accrued. N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 203. Although some states have a "discovery rule" where the cause of action does not occur until the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered that they were injured by the defendant's conduct, New York does not follow this rule, with one exception. Causes of action relating to toxic substances do not begin to toll until the time when the plaintiff discovers the exposure to the dangerous substance. N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214-c. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time, you cannot sue.
If the lawsuit is based on contract law, as in the case of a breach of warranty, you must file it within six years after the cause of action occurred. Similar to strict liability and negligence cases, a "cause of action" occurs when the cause of action is accrued. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time, you cannot sue.