Curtis Engineering Corp. v. Superior CourtAnnotate this Case
While working as a crane operator, plaintiff George Sutherland sustained injuries when his crane tipped over. Sutherland filed his original complaint, which included a negligence cause of action against real party in interest, Curtis Engineering Corporation (Curtis), a provider of engineering services. Sutherland's original complaint did not include a certificate, as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 411.35, subdivisions (a) and (b). Sutherland filed and served a first amended complaint which included a certificate. The original and amended complaint were identical, except for two additional paragraphs in the amended complaint stating that: (1) a certificate is attached as an exhibit to the amended complaint and is incorporated by reference, and (2) a claim was sent to defendant Oregon State University. Curtis demurred to the amended complaint arguing, among other things, that Sutherland failed to file the required certificate within the limitations period. The trial court overruled the demurrer. As relevant here, the court concluded that the amended complaint related back to the filing date of the original complaint. In this case, the Court of Appeal concluded that a certificate filed after expiration of the statute of limitations and more than 60 days after filing the original pleading did not relate back to the filing of the original pleading. The trial court erred when it overruled a demurrer alleging noncompliance with the certificate requirement of section 411.35. Accordingly, the Court granted the petition for writ of mandate.