Sellers v. KurdillaAnnotate this Case
Several men were in a car that rear-ended the plaintiff Linda Sellers' vehicle. She sued the car’s owner, believing he had been driving. The car’s owner moved to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis of an affidavit from a second man, who claimed he was driving at the time of the accident. Plaintiff amended her complaint to name both men. The second man then moved to dismiss the claim against him, arguing that under Alaska Civil Rule 15(c) plaintiff’s amended complaint did not relate back to the date of her initial filing and the claim was therefore barred by the statute of limitations. The district court agreed and dismissed the claim. Plaintiff proceeded to trial against the car’s owner, who defended on grounds that he had not been driving. The jury found against plaintiff, who then appealed to the superior court, arguing that the district court erred when it dismissed her claim against the second man. The superior court affirmed the district court’s decision. After granting review of the matter, the Alaska Supreme Court concluded plaintiff’s amended complaint met the requirements for relation back under Rule 15(c), and therefore reversed the superior court’s decision and remanded for further proceedings.