Judiciary Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-1384

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE TOLLING OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASES.

Vote Date:

4/2/2007

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/12/2007

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA)

REASONS FOR BILL:

To insure that innocent victims are insured proper recovery for their injuries.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None submitted.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

CTLA

The automatic extension of the statute of limitations was granted to allow plaintiffs bringing medical malpractice claims additional time to obtain a good faith certificate. It is our position that there are legitimate reasons to grant this automatic extension of the statute of limitations in other cases.

While there is no requirement of a certificate in wrongful death cases, there are often other delays experienced which may cause a statute of limitations to toll through no fault of the injured party, such as waiting for an executor to be appointed or obtaining police reports.

This bill would not allow a plaintiff to bring a claim outside the existing statute of limitations. This statute would only extend the statute of limitations upon petition to the clerk within the normal time frame of the underlying statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations for a cause of action were two years, the plaintiff would have to request the extension within that two year period.

Thomas Cloutier, CTLA

There are legitimate reasons to grant this automatic extension of the statute of limitations in other cases.

While there was no requirement of a certificate of good faith in wrongful death cases, there are often other delays experienced, which may cause a statute of limitations to toll, or to exclude an action through no fault of the injured party, such as waiting for the executor to be appointed.

It can be a particularly lengthy process when different states are involved in the process. It's become increasingly difficult to obtain police reports in a timely manner, which again may delay the ability to ascertain the proper defendant.

As a practicing lawyer, sometimes clients, or potential clients, will come to the office just before the two years is about to expire, and they really don't have enough information in order to determine the meritorious nature of the case, and that the 90-day automatic extension would assist practitioners to make a fair determination as to whether a case ought to be pursued.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None submitted

Reported by: George Marinelli

April 5, 2007