In July of 2013, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky heard a case involving a Kentucky personal injury statute of limitations issue where the injury caused to the plaintiff was more than 30 years old. Adams v. 3M Company, 2013 WL 3367134 (W.D. Ky. 2013)).
In 1981 the plaintiff was diagnosed with two serious co
al related lung diseases. He was diagnosed with having silicosis. And coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (“black lung”). Plaintiff applied for the Kentucky workers’ compensation board total and permanent disability. Plaintiff was approved for it.
But, after Plaintiff moved to Louisa, Kentucky, he met with a plaintiff’s Kentucky personal injury statute of limitations attorney who thought he had a case and filed suit on his behalf. The Kentucky personal injury lawsuit was filed on June 25, 2012 more than 30 years after being discovered with black lung disease. Id. Both sides agreed to do minimal discovery knowing that the central issue at this time was the Kentucky personal injury statute of limitations issue.
In Kentucky, normally a personal injury claim must be filed within one year of the time the cause of action “accrued.” (cites omitted). For example, a plaintiff who believes he was injured by asbestos exposure has one year to file his complaint. (cites omitted). But, there is what is known as the ‘discovery rule’ as an exception to the normal statute of limitations period. Id. “The discovery rule tolls the statute of limitations period “until the plaintiff discovers or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered” that: 1) she was injured, and 2) her injury “may have been caused by the defendant’s conduct.” (cites omitted).
In this case, the thrust of the issue was the ‘may’ part of the discovery rule. That is to say, that once the plaintiff thought he was injured and that it might have been caused by the defendant, that that is when the statute of limitations began and not at some later date. So, plaintiff had to file his Kentucky personal injury lawsuit 30 years ago when he was diagnosed with black lung disease and not wait 30 years to do so. Plaintiff had a duty to investigate and discover the identify of the tortfeasor with the statutory time constraints. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky Personal Injury Statute of Limitations case, please call and speak to a Kentucky Personal Injury Statute of Limitations lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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