City of Carthage, Missouri v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., No. 22-2238 (8th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
The City of Carthage sued Union Pacific Railroad Co. for breach of contract, claiming UP failed to maintain several bridges. On summary judgment, the district court ruled that the City’s breach-of-contract claim was barred by the five-year statute of limitations. The City argues that the ten-year statute of limitations applies here because its claim seeks an equitable remedy.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed. The court explained that the City’s claim accrued in February 2013, at the latest. On February 15, 2013, the City wrote UP demanding the repair of the bridges—establishing that the City was on notice of a potentially actionable injury. The City waited until 2019—over five years later—to sue UP. The City’s claim is barred by the five-year statute of limitations. Further, here, UP did not engage in any affirmative act during the limitations period. Without more, a failure to act does not justify the continuing wrong rule.
Court Description: [Benton, Author, with Gruender and Shepherd, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Contacts. The district court did not err in concluding the City's breach of contract claims concerning bridge repairs were barred by the Missouri five-year statute of limitations - Mo. Rev. Stat. Sec. 516.120(1) (2016); claim was not saved by continuing wrong rule because the railroad did not engage in an affirmative act during the limitations period.