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Dismissal for corporate trucking client in federal court

October 20, 2015

Richie Foster and Beth Bentley recently achieved a dismissal for their corporate trucking client in federal court based on the expiration of statute of limitations, as well as sanctions against the plaintiff’s attorneys who refused to dismiss the claim. The driver of the truck received a citation during the collision and the plaintiff argued O.C.G.A. § 9-3-99, which allows for the statute of limitations to be tolled for civil actions which “aris[e] out of the facts and circumstances related to the commission of a crime,” tolled the statute of limitations for the driver’s employer as well as the driver. According to the plaintiff, the prior Court of Appeals decisions holding O.C.G.A. § 9-3-99 applied only to the person charged with the crime (and not any joint tortfeasors or employers) were distinguishable because none of the prior opinions involved claims of vicarious liability. However, the federal district court held Georgia law was “abundantly clear” that the plaintiff’s claims against the trucking company were time-barred. As for the Rule 11 motion for sanctions which was filed, the court agreed sanctions were appropriate, ordered plaintiff’s counsel to pay the company’s legal fees since the date when plaintiff was first notified by defense counsel the claims were time-barred, and publicly censured the attorneys.

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For informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in future cases.