The parents of a 16-year-old girl are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit six years after she was killed despite the statute of limitations running out. A Judge has ruled that due to the investigation being ongoing and the driver of the car being unknown that the statute does not apply.
The plaintiffs learned the defendant’s identity when he was indicted on March 4, 2002. They brought a wrongful-death claim against him, his business, another individual and his insurance company on May 4, 2004.
The defendants initially brought a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the claim, arguing that the action was time-barred. Bohn denied the motion in June 2005, ruling that the defendant’s fraudulent concealment of his identity tolled any limitations period that might apply to the case.
Next, the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing again that the plaintiffs’ complaint was time-barred because it was not brought within three years of the date of the accident as required by G.L.c. 260, Sect. 4B, the statute of limitations for hit-and-run accidents.
The parents had received an anonymous letter a year after the accident with information on who was responsible for the accident. The police took the letter and told the parents to not investigate the matter on their own.