Hampton v. MeyerAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court held that the misidentification of a defendant in a complaint was a misnomer, not a misjoinder, and therefore, the filing of a new complaint to correct the error after a nonsuit was not barred by the statute of limitations.
Calvin Hampton, who was injured in a car accident, filed a negligence complaint seeking damages. The complaint identified the driver of the other vehicle as Michael Meyer. Later, however, Hampton learned that Noah Meyer, and not his father Michael, had been driving the vehicle at the time of the collision. Hampton subsequently obtained an order nonsuiting his complaint. Hampton then filed a new complaint asserting that, under this Court's decision in Richmond v. Volk, 291 Va. 60 (2016), the use of the wrong name in his complaint was merely a misnomer rather than a misjoinder. Noah filed a plea in bar asserting that the new complaint was time-barred. The circuit court sustained the plea in bar, ruling that naming Michael in the original complaint was a misjoinder, not a misnomer. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the misidentification of the driver in the original complaint were merely a misnomer, not a misjoinder; and (2) therefore, under Volk, the new complaint was not barred by the statute of limitations.