In February of 2013, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky dismissed a Louisville personal injury car accident case that involved a motor vehicle accident that occurred on September 25, 2008. (See Richardson v. Rose Transport, Inc., 2103 WL 620188 (E.D. Ky. 2013)). In this Louisville car accident case, the plaintiff was injured when her car collided with a tractor-trailer owned by one of the defendants. Id. The plaintiff suffered severe and permanent bodily injuries and damages as a result of this serious Louisville car accident. A portion of his medical bills were reimbursed pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (MVRA) and the last personal injury payment was made on September 2, 2009. Id. So far his Louisville personal injury lawyer was right on top of this case.
On September 1, 2011, the plaintiff and his wife from Louisville filed a Louisville personal injury lawsuit against the defendants alleging negligence and loss of consortium. Id. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff died on October 8, 2011 after overdosing on drugs. He committed suicide. Then on September 25, 2012 the plaintiff sough to amend her complaint to include the manufacturer of the trailer based on new information obtained from an August 2012 inspection of the trailer. The amended Louisville car accident complaint added strict products liability and wrongful death claims. Id.
“In the state of Kentucky an action for loss of consortium must be brought by the plaintiff within one year after the plaintiff’s spouse suffered his or her injury. (cites omitted). Loss of consortium is a separate cause of action, not covered by the MVRA, but it is derivate of the underlying tort claim.” (cites omitted). In this Louisville personal injury case, the Louisville car accident occurred four years before the plaintiff added the loss of consortium claim to her complaint. Id. Her Louisville personal injury lawyer was trying to do the best that he could.
The Louisville plaintiff argued that the loss of consortium claim did not begin when the Louisville car accident occurred but when her former husband committed suicide. Id. She argued that his death was the proximate result of the defendant’s conduct and that his drug overdose is attributable to his significant brain damage from the car accident. Id.
“Under Kentucky law, absent a latent injury, the statute of limitations period begins to run on the date the injury is inflicted even where the injury is slight initially and its full extent is not known until years later.” (cites omitted). So, the Louisville court dismissed her amended loss of consortium claim.
In Kentucky, an action for persona injury must be brought within one year after the action accrued or be time-barred. However, where the injured party is a “motor vehicle accident victim,” the MVRA extends the limitations period to two years.” (cites omitted). The Louisville court conducted a two part test to see if the MVRA was applicable. It looked at whether the injured persons were motor vehicle accident victims and whether their injuries arose out of the use of a motor vehicle. (cites omitted). In this case, the court held that not all injuries having a connection with a car accident are covered by the MVRA and its two year statute of limitations. Id. And so the court did not extend the statute of limitations because death by suicide is not within the class of injuries the MVRA was designed to protect said the Louisville court. Also, the Louisville court held that there was no causal connection. The suicide that occurred was not an injury that was incurred during the “use” of a motor vehicle. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Louisville personal injury case, please call and speak to a Louisville personal injury 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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