Carpenter v. Kenneth Thompson Builder, Inc.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court granted review of this personal-injury negligence action to clarify state law on the doctrine of claim-splitting. After new defendants were identified during discovery on her original complaint, Plaintiff Jeanette Carpenter filed a motion to amend her complaint to include the newly discovered defendants. A hearing could not be scheduled in time for the trial court to approve the amendment before the expiration of the three-year statute of limitations. In an effort to avoid losing the opportunity to bring the new defendants into the litigation, Carpenter filed a second action before the statute of limitations ran, based on the exact same set of facts, in the same court, and naming the same new defendants named in the motion to amend. The trial court dismissed both cases. The cases were consolidated for purpose of appeal. After review, the Supreme Court held that Carpenter’s procedural actions constituted impermissible claim-splitting as outlined in "Wilner v. White," (929 So. 2d 315 (Miss. 2006)). The Court reversed the Court of Appeals and affirmed the judgments of the Circuit Court.