SCOKY: Torts, Statute of Limitations, MVRA and loading or unloading vehicle; Interlock Industries v. Rosenman’s Inc. 10/27/2011

SCOKY delineated the statute of limitations on unloading a truck as one year and not two years as is typical for the MVRA.  I must state the dissents are better reasoned and follow a more common sense approach which is in line with basic reasoning, to wit:  if reparation benefits are paid per the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act then associated torts are covered by that statute of limitations – 2 years from the last PIP payment.  Easy, peasy.

This time the Court of Appeals got it right and gave us an easy and simple rule to follow with bright lines.  Imagine the absurdity of the majority’s analysis – the statute of limitations under the section relative to torts does not apply to torts but the statute of limitations under the same section relative to the payment of PIP benefits does apply. Go figure folks.

176.  STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. MVRA. UNLOADING.
INTERLOCK INDUSTRIES V. ROSENMAN’S INC.
ON REVIEW FROM COURT OF APPEALS
V. CASE NO. 2008-CA-1686-MR
SHELBY CIRCUIT COURT NO. 06-CI-00119
OPINION OF THE COURT BY JUSTICE SCHRODER
REVERSING AND REMANDING
Questions Presented:
Statute of Limitations. Personal Injury. MVRA. Issues include whether the KRS 413.140(1) one-year personal injury statute of limitations or the KRS 304.39-230 two-year MVRA statute of limitations applies to the injury suffered by a trucker when he was struck by part of his load of aluminum bundles as he was rolling up tie-down straps beside the flatbed truck being unloaded.

OPINION by SCHRODER:

Discretionary review was granted in these three appeals, which arose from a single case in Shelby Circuit Court. We reviewed and heard the appeals together to decide a common issue: whether the one-year personal injury statute of limitations (KRS 413.140(1)(a)) or the two-year Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (MVRA) statute of limitations (KRS 304.39-230(6)) applies to an action for the injuries suffered by Charles Rawlings as he was rolling straps beside his tractor-trailer as it was being unloaded.

We opine that Rawlings’ activity in releasing the straps and rolling them qualifies him as a participant in the unloading process. Therefore, for the reasons previously stated, the trial court correctly applied the one-year personal injury statute of limitations found in KRS 413.140(1)(a). As the trial court properly granted summary judgment, the remaining issues are moot.

Accordingly, the opinion of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the order of the Shelby Circuit Court is hereby reinstated. Minton, C.J.; Abramson, Cunningham, and Noble, JJ., concur. Scott, J.,concurs in part and dissents in part by separate opinion in which Venters, J.,
joins.

SCOTT, J., CONCURRING IN PART AND DISSENTING IN PART: I concur with the majority that Rawlings was involved in the unloading of his truck at the time of the accident. However, I would nonetheless affirm the Court of Appeals’ decision because the two-year Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (MVRA) statute of limitations applies when any reparation obligor actually pays basic reparation benefits (BRB). See KRS 304.39-230(6) (“An action for tort liability not abolished by KRS 304.39-060 may be commenced not later than two (2) years after the  injury, or the death, or the last basic or added reparation payment made by any reparation obligor, whichever later occurs.”) (emphasis added). Simply put, the payment of these benefits by a reparation obligor automatically brings recipients within the purview of the two-year statute of limitations. The statute plainly says so as the underlying action was one not abolished by KRS 304.39-060.

In this case, Rawlings’ insurance company paid him BRB, thereby triggering MVRA relief. As a result, I concur in part and dissent in part.

Venters, J., joins

 

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