Earlier last month, an appellate court in North Dakota issued a written opinion affirming the dismissal of a plaintiff’s premises liability lawsuit against the government entity in charge of maintaining the park where the plaintiff’s injury occurred. In the case, Frith v. City of Fargo, the court clarified that the applicable statute of limitations in the plaintiff’s case imposed a three-year timeframe in which the lawsuit must be filed. Since the plaintiff filed her lawsuit after three years had elapsed since her injury, the lower court was proper in dismissing the lawsuit.
The plaintiff, Frith, was injured on July 7, 2012, when she fell while rollerblading in Fargo Park, a park that was operated by the defendant. Evidently, Frith ran over an area of soft material used to cover up cracks in the pavement. As she ran over the patching material, she lost her balance and fell.
Frith filed a premises liability lawsuit against the Park District of the City of Fargo, claiming that the City was negligent in allowing the dangerous condition to exist on the pathway. The lawsuit was initially filed in July 2015, just days before the three-year anniversary of the injury. However, since the plaintiff failed to properly serve the City, she had to re-serve the City, and the lawsuit was not technically filed until September, when the plaintiff effectuated proper service.
In response to the lawsuit, the City asked the court to dismiss the case because it had been filed after the applicable three-year statute of limitations. The plaintiff argued that a longer statute of limitations should apply because a third-party contractor placed the patching material, and premises liability lawsuits against non-government entities have a five-year statute of limitations.
The court decided the case in favor of the City, finding that the three-year statute of limitations was proper. The court explained that the longer statute of limitations would only apply if the named defendant was a non-government entity. The fact that the work was completed by a non-government entity does not result in the application of the longer statute of limitations; the relevant question for determining which statute of limitations applies is properly focused on which party is named as a defendant.
As a result of the plaintiff’s error in effectuating service and subsequent late filing, her case will not be permitted to proceed.
Have You Been Injured on the Land of Another Party?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Georgia slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Miller Legal Services are well-versed in all of the applicable statutes of limitations and will not let a procedural error result in the dismissal of your case. Call 770-284-3727 today to set up a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney. Calling is free and will not result in any obligation on your part unless you are successful in obtaining compensation for your injuries.
More Blog Posts:
Injured Georgians May Have a Claim Against an Insurance Company that Acts in Bad Faith, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 6, 2016.
Court Permits Case Against School Administrators Following Car Accident on School Grounds, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 1, 2016.