Christ v. Exxon Mobil Corp.Annotate this Case
In 2006, Plaintiffs, former employees and the estates and beneficiaries of former employees at an Eau Claire tire manufacturing plant, filed suit against multiple defendants alleging that the initial plaintiffs were exposed to benzene during their employment at the tire manufacturing facility, causing injury and, in some cases, death. In 2012, the circuit court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss, concluding that Plaintiffs’ claims had accrued at death and were therefore barred by the statute of limitations. Plaintiffs appealed, arguing that their claims did not accrue until they had reason to believe that Defendants were responsible for the injuries giving rise to their claims. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the discovery rule permits the accrual of both survival claims and wrongful death claims after the date of the decedent’s death; and (2) under the circumstances of this case, the applicable statute of limitations began to run when the survival claims and wrongful death claims were discovered provided that Plaintiffs would be able to show that they exercised reasonable diligence in investigating and discovering their claims. Remanded.