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Worthington v. Estate of Milton E. Davis

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-27-2012
Case #: A147059
Hadlock, J. for the Court: Ortega, P. J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A147059.pdf

Civil Procedure: Under ORCP 23C, the decedent and the representatives of decedent's estate are entirely different parties. Choosing the incorrect party constitutes misidentification and an amended complaint will only relate back if it satisfies the requirements of ORCP 23C.

Appellant Peggy Worthington (Worthington) appealed the trial court’s dismissal of her civil lawsuit. In 2007, Worthington's vehicle was hit by a vehicle driven by Milton Davis (Davis). Worthington filed a civil lawsuit against Davis on the day before the two year statute of limitations expired. A few weeks later, Worthington amended the complaint to include the estate of Davis and the personal representative of Davis’ estate. The trial court dismissed Worthington’s claim due to a failure to file the claim within the two year statute of limitations. Worthington appealed, arguing that the omission of naming Davis’ estate et al was a misnomer that misnamed the original parties; therefore, Davis' claim could be amended back to the original complaint date. The Court of Appeals rejected Worthington's argument, holding that the omission of the above named parties constituted a misidentification of the parties, thereby changing the party against whom the claim was being made. Hence, the complaint did not relate to the initial complaint. Affirmed.