Morrison Mahoney Partner Bill Staar and Associate Erin Hoefler successfully have moved to dismiss all claims against their corporate clients recently-filed in the New Hampshire Superior Court.
The plaintiff alleged that, in 2015, a defective vending machine manufactured and distributed by the clients caught fire in a local courthouse, set off sprinklers, and resulted in water damage exceeding $250,000.
The defense successfully argued that all three of the plaintiff’s causes of action against the clients were time-barred: A three-year statute of limitations governed the plaintiff’s negligence and strict-liability claims. Although the plaintiff timely filed its original complaint, that complaint did not properly identify the defendants. Further, because the defendants’ managers were unaware of the filing of the suit before the statute of limitations ran, the plaintiff’s filing of an amended complaint containing the proper names of the defendants was not curative under New Hampshire law. A four-year statute of limitations governed the plaintiff’s breach-of-warranty claim. That statute began to run, however, four years after delivery of the subject machine when new. On the date of the fire, the machine was 24 years old.