Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Summary 2008 WY 140

Summary of Decision issued November 25, 2008

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Case Name: Busch v. Horton Automatics, Inc.

Citation: 2008 WY 140

Docket Number: S-08-0024

Appeal from the District Court of Washakie County, the Honorable Gary R. Hartman, Judge.

Representing Appellant Busch: M. Jalie Meinecke of Menecke & Sitz, LLC, Cody, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee Horton Automatics, Inc.: Jeffrey C. Brinkerhoff and Kelley A. Anderson of Gifford & Brinkerhoff, PC, Casper, Wyoming.

Facts/Discussion: Busch challenges the district court’s judgment and final order dismissing her tort claims against Horton Automatics, Inc. on the basis that those claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Busch’s complaint also stated claims against Kent Foulger d/b/a Blair’s Thriftway. Busch’s claim was filed in the district court on May 11, 2007 and at that time Horton was identified as “John Doe I.” She suffered her injuries on June 3, 2003. Because the claims against Thriftway remain pending, the district court included the appropriate W.R.C.P. 54(b) certification in its judgment. On June 28, 2007, after Busch discovered the name of “John Doe I,” she filed an amended complaint identifying the previously named defendant as Horton.
The Court stated the district court erred as a matter of law in dismissing the complaint on the basis that the statute of limitations provided Horton with a complete defense against Busch’s complaint and amended complaint.

Holding: The purpose of W.R.C.P. 17(d) is to provide a plaintiff with a means to toll the statute of limitations when she does not know the proper designation of the defendant. Permitting the relation back of an amended complaint under the circumstances is in accord with the rules and statutes which are applicable to such circumstances.

Reversed and remanded.

J. Hill delivered the decision.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/6doxa6 .

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. Please note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you pinpoint cite to a quote, you should cite to this paragraph number rather than to any page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library.]

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