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Christopher S. Robbins, Darren v. Richard Lading

July 16, 2012

CHRISTOPHER S. ROBBINS, DARREN L. BUTTLE, AND SAMANTHA BUTTLE,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
RICHARD LADING, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stiehl, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), 735 ILCS §5/13-203 and §5/13-203 (Doc. 56). Plaintiffs Christopher Robbins and Darren Buttle have responded to the motion (Doc. 60), and the defendant has replied to that response (Doc. 63).

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs filed their original Complaint on October 10, 2009, alleging defendant negligently operated a motor vehicle causing multiple injuries to Plaintiffs Christopher Robbins and Darren Buttle. Plaintiffs alleged that on November 21, 2008, they were struck by a vehicle driven by defendant, sustaining various injuries and accruing damages. Plaintiffs sought and received leave to file a Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 36), adding Samantha Buttle's loss of consortium claim. Defendant seeks dismissal of count three, the loss of consortuim claim, on the grounds that it is barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The parties agree that pursuant to 735 ILCS §5/13-203, the statute of limitations for personal injury matters expired on November 21, 2010.

A. Standard for Dismissal

When reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all allegations in the complaint. Erickson v. Pardus,551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). A case can be dismissed because a complaint pleads facts establishing that the defendant is entitled to prevail. Bennett v. Schmidt, 153 F.3d 516, 519 (7th Cir.1998); Soo Line R.R. Co. v. St. Louis S.W. Ry. Co., 125 F.3d 481, 483 (7th Cir.1997); see Hecker v. Deere & Co., 556 F.3d 575, 588 (7th Cir.2009) (dismissal appropriate when party pleads facts establishing defense to his claim), cert. denied, 130 S.Ct. 1141(2010).

Plaintiffs assert that their Second Amended Complaint relates back to the original Complaint. Although all parties agree that the statute of limitations applicable to this diversity case is the Illinois two-year statute of limitations for personal injury, 735 ILCS § 5/13-202, See Allstate Ins. Co. v. Menards, Inc., 285 F.3d 630, 633 (7th Cir.2002) (noting statutes of limitations are generally substantive matters governed by state law in federal diversity jurisdiction cases), they disagree about whether the loss of consortium claim relates back to the date Plaintiffs filed the original Complaint. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(c) governs relation back of amended pleadings for statute of limitations purposes. That rule provides, in pertinent part:

(1) When an Amendment Relates Back. An amendment to a pleading relates back to the date of the original pleading when:

(A) the law that provides the applicable statute of limitations allows relation back;

(B) the amendment asserts a claim or defense that arose out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set out-or attempted to be set outin the original pleading; or

(C) the amendment changes the party or the naming of the party against whom a claim is asserted, if Rule 15(c)(1)(B) is satisfied and if, within the period provided by Rule 4(m) for serving the summons and complaint, the party to be brought in by amendment:

(i) received such notice of the action that it will not be prejudiced in defending on the merits; and

(ii) knew or should have known that the action would have been brought against it, but for a mistake concerning the proper party's identity.

Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(c)(1). Plaintiffs assert that the amendments relate back to the original Complaint under subsection (B). Defendant argues that subsection (A) requires the court to apply Illinois law, which does ...


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