Rule of Repose - Martin v. Hodges Chapel, LLC

In Martin v. Hodges Chapel, LLC, et al., [Ms. 2100446, Dec. 16, 2011] __ So. 3d __(Ala. Civ. App. 2011), the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals held, among other things, that "[t]he rule of repose begins running on a claim as soon as all of the essential elements of that claim coexist so that the plaintiff could validly file suit." Id. (quoting American General Life & Accident Ins. Co. v. Underwood, 886 So. 2d 807, 812 (Ala. 2004)). The Court then went on to examine the plaintiffs' claims of negligence, wantonness, outrage, fraud, and breach of contract to determine at what point in time all the elements of each of those claims coexisted. With respect to all of the tort claims, the Court held that the essential elements did not coexist until the plaintiffs suffered damages in May 2009. Thus, the rule of repose did not bar those claims. With respect to breach of contract claims, the Court held that the elements coexist at the time of breach.
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