Archive | Discovery rule (statute of limitations)

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Christian v. Atlantic Richfield Co.

Christian v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 2015 MT 255 (Sept. 1, 2015) (McKinnon, J.; Baker, J., concurring (2, 3, 4); Wheat, J., concurring (1, 2, 3) & dissenting (4); Rice, J., concurring (4) & dissenting (1)) (aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the continuing tort doctrine requires evidence of the continued migration of contaminants; (2) whether genuine issues of material fact exist regarding the reasonableness of abating the contamination on Landowners’ properties; (3) whether the continuing tort doctrine applies to Landowners’ claims other than nuisance and trespass; and (4) whether the facts constituting Landowners’ claims were concealed or self-concealing, or whether ARCO took action to prevent Landowners from learning those facts.

Short Answer: (1) No, migration is not the dispositive factor; the key to whether an injury is temporary or permanent is whether further abatement is reasonable (McKinnon, Cotter, Wheat, Shea, Manley) (Rice dissents) (5-1); (2) yes, reasonable abatability must be decided by the trier of fact (McKinnon, Cotter, Baker concurs in the judgment, Wheat, Shea, Manley) (6-0); (3) yes for continuing injuries caused by strict liability, negligence, and wrongful occupation, but not for unjust enrichment (McKinnon, Cotter, Baker, Wheat, Shea, Manley) (6-0); (4) no, and Landowners’ claims for unjust enrichment and constructive fraud are therefore time-barred (McKinnon, Cotter, Baker, Rice) (Wheat dissents, Shea & Manley join) (4-3).…

Anderson v. BNSF Railway

Anderson v. BNSF Railway, 2015 MT 240 (Aug. 12, 2015) (Shea, J.; Wheat, J., concurring; McKinnon, J., dissenting) (6-1, rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in allowing the statute of limitations to be decided as a fact question; (1.a) whether the continuing tort doctrine applies to cumulative trauma injuries under FELA; (1.b) whether an employee can recover under FELA for aggravation of a time-barred injury; (1.c) whether non-disabling aches and pains constitute an injury under FELA; and (2) whether counsel for BNSF made improper comments that deprived Anderson of a fair trial.

Short Answer: (1) No; (1.a) no; (1.b) yes; (1.c) no; and (2) yes.

Reversed and remanded for new trial

Facts: Robert Anderson worked for BNSF for more 30 years, primarily as a carman inspecting and repairing railroad cars in Havre.…

Thieltges v. Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.

Thieltges v. Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., 2014 MT 247 (Sept. 16, 2014) (5-0) McKinnon, J.

Issue: Whether the status of Royal Alliance’s agent as a registered securities salesperson was a self-concealing fact supporting a delay in the running of the statute of limitations.

Short Answer: No.


Johnston v. Centennial Log Homes

Johnston v. Centennial Log Homes, 2013 MT 179 (July 8, 2013) (6-1) (Baker, J., for the majority; McKinnon, J., dissenting)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly granted summary judgment to Centennial on the basis that Johnstons’ claims were barred by the statute of limitations; (2) whether the release executed by the Leonards is binding on the Johnstons; and (3) whether the district court abused its discretion in granting Johnstons’ motion to dismiss Keeko Log Homes, Ltd. as a defendant.

Short Answer: (1) No, because factual issues regarding Johnstons’ discovery of the defects are in dispute; (2) no, because Johnstons owned 36% of the house at the time of the release and were not parties to the release; and (3) yes, as it did not allow Centennial to file a brief in opposition pror to dismissing Keeko..…