Hutchko v. Delbene, 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 367, 2018 WL 911445

Statute of limitations is not extended when settlement negotiations are ongoing and the IME is scheduled after the statute of limitations tolls.

Plaintiff’s counsel was working with the insurance company to potentially settle an automobile personal injury claim. Before the statute of limitations expired, the plaintiff was asked to attend an IME at the request of the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier indicated that no settlement demands would be evaluated without an IME. The IME was originally scheduled to take place prior to the statute of limitations expiring, but due to scheduling issues, the IME was rescheduled to take place after the two-year mark. Plaintiff’s counsel did not file the complaint until the day after the statue of limitations expired, and the defendant moved to dismiss the complaint based on the late filing. The plaintiff argued the claim had not been denied during the limitations period, which led counsel to believe efforts to resolve the case would continue after the IME. The court found favorably for the defense, noting that the plaintiff was not entitled to equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. There was no evidence the IME was rescheduled in an effort to trick the plaintiff into not filing suit in a timely manner.



Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2018

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