Monday, September 19, 2016

Conflict in Statute of Limitations

Last Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court decided North American Midway Entertainment, LLC, Mid-America Shows Transportation, Inc. and North American Midway Entertainment-Amusement South, Inc. v. Tommy W. Murray and Kelli E. Murray located here.  

On May 1, 2012, the Murrays filed a complaint in the Hinds County Circuit Court, First District, against the estate of James E. German and three related businesses that had employed German—Mid-American Shows Transportation, Inc.; North American Midway Entertainment-Amusement South, Inc. f/k/a Farrow Shows, Inc.; and North American Midway Entertainment (collectively “Midway”).  The Murrays were residents of Georgia.  Before German died, he lived in Mississippi.  Midway is a group of foreign corporations doing business in Mississippi. 

The Murrays based their claims on a wreck that occurred in Louisiana almost three years earlier.  On May 4, 2009, German, while driving one of Midway’s eighteen wheelers, started reversing back down an interstate exit ramp.  Tommy’s pickup truck rammed into him.  The Murrays alleged German’s negligent driving caused Tommy to suffer physical, emotional, and mental injuries and Kelli to experience loss of consortium.   The statue of limitations had run in Louisiana already and they attempted to apply Mississippi law. 

The relevant language from the case is the following:

"Under Mississippi Code Annotated Section 15-1-65, when a cause of action has accrued in another state and is time-barred there, it cannot be maintained in Mississippi. The one exception is “where such a cause of action has accrued in favor of a resident of this state,” which is not the case here. Id. Here, Tommy and Kelli Murray’s action accrued in Louisiana. But by the time they filed their action in Mississippi, Louisiana’s one-year statute of limitations had passed.  Because they could no longer file an untimely action in Louisiana, they were likewise barred from filing suit in Mississippi. We therefore reverse the trial court’s denial of the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint, in which they asserted Section 15-1-65’s clear bar. We render a judgment in the defendants’ favor."

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