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REICHERT v. FORD MOTOR CO.

July 17, 1991

MARILYN J. REICHERT, individually, and MARILYN J. REICHERT, Administrator of the Estate of Robert L. Reichert, Deceased, Plaintiffs,
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY and ALLIED-SIGNAL, INC. d/b/a BENDIX SAFETY RESTRAINTS, Defendants. FORD MOTOR COMPANY, Third-Party Plaintiff, v. MICHAEL SLUSSER, Third-Party Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: STIEHL

 WILLIAM D. STIEHL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Before the Court is defendant Allied Signal, Inc.'s motion to dismiss Counts V, VI, VII, and VIII of plaintiff's second amended complaint as time barred. In this action, plaintiff alleges that her husband, Robert L. Reichert (Reichert), suffered serious injuries, from which he ultimately died, when seat belts failed to properly restrain him in a motor vehicle collision. The accident occurred on March 5, 1987, and Reichert died on March 26, 1989.

 In Count V, plaintiff seeks damages for Reichert's loss of money which would have otherwise accrued to him, and for the pain and anguish from which Reichert suffered prior to his death.

 As to Count V, Allied argues that plaintiff's cause of action arose on March 8, 1987, and that the second amended complaint, which first joined Allied, was filed on March 4, 1991, well outside of the two year statute of limitations governing personal injury lawsuits. Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 110, para. 13-202.

 In response, plaintiff argues that Reichert was incompetent from the time the action accrued until his death on March 26, 1989. Paragraph 7 of Count V alleges that "by reason of the injuries [Reichert] was rendered completely mentally incompetent and incapable [and] was hindered and prevented from attending to his duties and affairs." (Second Amended Complaint, Count V, para. 7). As a result of decedent's mental incompetence, plaintiff argues that the statute of limitations was tolled until the disability was removed at Reichert's death.

 The tolling provision of Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 110, para. 13-211 states: "If the person entitled to bring the action, specified in sections 13-201 through 13-210 of this Act, at the time the cause of action accrued, is under . . . legal disability, he or she may bring the action within 2 years after the . . . disability is removed." Id.

 In the case at bar, the Court finds that plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that Reichert was under a legal disability until his death on March 26, 1989. Furthermore, Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 110, para. 13-203 states:

 
Actions for damages for loss of consortium or other actions deriving from injury to the person of another . . . shall be commenced within the same period of time as action for damages to such other person . . . . Where the time in which the cause of action of the injured person whose injuries give rise to the cause of action brought under this Section is tolled by any other section of this Act, including Section 13-211 . . . the time in which the cause of action must be brought under this Section is also tolled or extended to coincide with the period of time in which the injured person must commence his or her cause of action.

 Id.

 Accordingly, the Court finds that the statute of limitations as to Count V of the second amended complaint did not expire until March 26, 1991. Therefore, Count V of the second amended complaint was timely filed on March 4, 1991. For the above stated reasons, Allied's motion to dismiss Count V of the second amended complaint is DENIED.

 COUNT VI

 In Count VI, plaintiff seeks damages for loss of consortium by reason of the injuries suffered by Reichert. Allied argues that this action is time barred because it was not filed within two years of the death of Reichert. Plaintiff argues that ...


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