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Superior Court Dismisses the Action Because Statue of Limitations for Fraud had Expired

Posted In Business Torts
Reading Int'l, Inc. v. St. Francis, C.A. No. 02C-10-223 SCD, 2005 WL 1654343 (Del. Super. Ct. June 17, 2005). The plaintiffs brought an action for fraud, alleging that the value of certain equipment the plaintiffs purchased in 1996 was not as the defendants represented. One of the defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that the statute of limitations had expired. Treating the motion to dismiss as a motion for summary judgment, the court dismissed the action against the defendant because the statute had expired. Richard St. Francis, one of the defendants, moved to dismiss based on the argument that 10 Del. C. § 8106's three-year statute of limitations for fraud. Because the alleged fraudulent act took place in 1996, the court determined that the statute of limitations barred the action unless the statute had been tolled. The plaintiff argued the statute was tolled because St. Francis had concealed material facts. However, the evidence indicated that the Plaintiffs' predecessor had been aware of a problem with the valuation of the computers since March 2001. Accordingly, the court determined that the statute of limitations had run, and it dismissed the action against St. Francis. Authored by: Jason C. Jowers 302-888-6860 jjowers@morrisjames.com