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Magic Circle Corp. v. Schoolcraft

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 20, 2014

MAGIC CIRCLE CORPORATION, d/b/a DIXIE CHOPPER, THE KELCH CORPORATION, CAMOPLAST CROCKER, LLC, and SEATS, INC., Appellants-Defendants,
v.
KRIS SCHOOLCRAFT as Personal Representative of the Wrongful Death Estate of Rickie D. Schoolcraft, Deceased, Appellee-Plaintiff

APPEAL FROM THE HAMILTON SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable William J. Hughes, Judge. Cause No. 29D03-1201-CT-446.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS: Attorneys for Camoplast Croker, LLC: BRUCE P. CLARK, JENNIFER E. DAVIS, COURT L. FARRELL, St. John, Indiana; Attorneys for Seats, Inc.: JOSHUA B. FLEMING, LUCY R. DOLLENS, TIMOTHY L. KARNS, Frost Brown Todd, LLC, Indianapolis, Indiana; Attorneys for the Kelch Corporation: RYAN L. LEITCH, ZACHARY T. LEE, Riley Bennett & Egloff, LLP, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: DANIEL S. CHAMBERLAIN, Doehrman Chamberlain, Indianapolis, Indiana.

MAY, Judge. BAILEY, J., and BRADFORD, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 769

MAY, Judge.

Kris Schoolcraft brought a wrongful death action against Magic Circle, and moved to amend the complaint to add new defendants. The trial court granted the motion. On appeal, the new defendants argue the amendments were outside the limitations period. We affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On May 5, 2010, Rickie Schoolcraft was involved in an accident involving a mower manufactured by Magic Circle. He died three days later. On January 16, 2012, Kris Schoolcraft, as personal representative of Rickie's estate, brought a wrongful death action sounding in products liability and negligence against Magic Circle. On May 4, 2012, the day before the limitations period expired, she moved to amend the claim to add defendants who manufactured parts of the mower, and she submitted to the court an amended complaint and summonses directed to the additional defendants. The motion was file-stamped that day and entered as a public record the following Monday, May 7. The trial court granted the motion to amend on May 15, 2012, and summonses were issued to the new defendants.

The new defendants challenged the amended complaint on limitations grounds by moving to dismiss or for judgment on the pleadings. The trial court denied the motions, determining the " limitation period was tolled at the moment [Schoolcraft] filed [her motion, the proposed amended complaint, and the summonses] on May 4, 2012." (Joint App. of Appellants at 15.)

DISCUSSION AND DECISION

A motion to dismiss under Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6) for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted tests the legal sufficiency of a claim, not the facts supporting it. K.M.K. v. A.K ., 908 N.E.2d 658, 662

Page 770

(Ind.Ct.App. 2009), reh'g denied, trans. denied . Therefore, we view the complaint in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, drawing every reasonable inference in favor of this party. Id. In reviewing a ruling on a motion to dismiss, we stand in the shoes of the trial court and must determine if the trial court erred in its application of the law. Id. The trial court should grant a motion to dismiss if it is apparent that the facts alleged in the complaint are incapable of supporting relief under any set of circumstances. Id. In ...


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