One of the most frequent questions we get at J. Price McNamara is how long do clients have to file a lawsuit. The answer to this is not always as simple as one would expect. An example of this can be seen by exploring a recently filed lawsuit against former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Grant Ledyard and his wife.
Twelve years ago, the Ledyards hosted a birthday party for their son. During that party, one of their guests swung a plastic golf club and struck another guest in the face. The victim, 11-year-old Brianna Fasanello, suffered a split her lip and the loss of a front tooth. The next day the hosts went to the young girl’s home with gifts and a get-well card. They reportedly “…felt bad that Brianna had had her tooth knocked…”, and went over the next day to “…say hello and check on her and make sure she was okay.”
As the years went by, the Ledyards thought the birthday incident was in the past. However, in 2012, a lawsuit was filed by the victim. Now a 23-year-old woman, Fasanello sued the Ledyards over the incident, as well as the mother of the boy who hit her with the plastic club. The lawsuit reportedly seeks unspecified damages. According to court records, a judge dismissed the lawsuit against the boy’s mother but allowed the lawsuit against the Ledyards to move forward. Normally a lawsuit would be well past the statute of limitations if it is filed 12 years after an accident or incident. Here is some additional information about the statute of limitations.
A statute of limitations is a set of laws that dictate the maximum time allowed to file legal proceedings after an event has happened. When the specified period of time passes, a claim can no longer be filed.
In certain instances, a person will be unable to immediately discover that they have been injured. In such cases, it would not be fair or reasonable to require the injured party to file a lawsuit when they could not have detected their injury at that time. To combat this problem, the Louisiana statute of limitations “…begins to run from the time the injured party discovers or should have discovered that they have been injured”. This means that even when the typical statute of limitations may specify a year or two, the plaintiff may have longer than that to file their lawsuit.
In certain cases, fairness requires that the statute of limitations be delayed. An injured party may not have the ability to initiate a lawsuit even though they are aware of an injury or damages. This can happen when a plaintiff is “disabled”. However, once the disability ends, the statute of limitations begins to run.
Here are some of the limitations that apply to civil cases in Louisiana:
Determining the specific length of time that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit can be very complicated. Parties that have suffered significant injuries or damages may wish to consult with a Louisiana attorney to ensure that all claims and notices are filed within applicable the time limits set forth by the appropriate laws.
NOTE: This list is not intended to be comprehensive. For further questions about your potential case, we encourage you to contact an experienced law firm like J. Price McNamara.
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