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VICKI GWALTNEY AND CHARLES GWALTNEY v. VINCENT LEE STONE (09/13/89)

filed: September 13, 1989.

VICKI GWALTNEY AND CHARLES GWALTNEY, HER HUSBAND, APPELLANTS,
v.
VINCENT LEE STONE, JR., APPELLEE



Appeal from the order entered November 14, 1988 in the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County, Civil, No. 1329 CP 1987.

COUNSEL

Irving M. Portnoy, Pittsburgh, for appellants.

James H. English, Asst. Dist. Atty., Altoona, for Stone, appellee.

Olszewski, Montemuro and Kelly, JJ.

Author: Kelly

[ 387 Pa. Super. Page 493]

In this opinion we are called upon to determine whether a cause of action, which accrued in Tennessee but was filed in Pennsylvania, was time-barred by the one year limitations period set forth in a Tennessee statute of limitations which applied in this Pennsylvania case pursuant to a Pennsylvania borrowing statute. For the reasons which follow, we find that the action was time-barred, and that the trial court properly dismissed the complaint. Accordingly, we affirm.

[ 387 Pa. Super. Page 494]

The facts and procedural history are not in dispute. Vicki Gwaltney and Charles Gwaltney, plaintiffs-appellants, are residents of Baltimore, Maryland. Vincent Lee Stone, Jr.,*fn1 defendant-appellee, is a resident of Blair County, Pennsylvania. On September 2, 1982, Mrs. Gwaltney was riding as a passenger in a vehicle proceeding along Interstate 81 when the vehicle was rearended by a vehicle driven by Mr. Stone. The accident occurred in Hamblen County, Tennessee.

A writ of summons was issued on August 6, 1984, twenty-three months after the accident, and was served upon Mr. Stone. Thereafter, on November 27, 1984, the Gwaltneys filed a complaint in Blair County, Pennsylvania, alleging negligence on behalf of Mr. Stone and requesting damages in excess of $10,000. On January 8, 1985, Mr. Stone filed an answer with new matter in which he alleged that the action was time-barred by Tennessee's statute of limitations as applied pursuant to Pennsylvania's borrowing statute. The Gwaltneys filed a reply on February 19, 1985, in which they asserted that the action was not time-barred because it was properly filed in Pennsylvania and within the applicable period pursuant to Pennsylvania's statute of limitations. On May 20, 1985, Mr. Stone filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. On November 15, 1988, the trial court entered an order granting Mr. Stone's motion for judgment on the pleadings, and dismissing the Gwaltneys' complaint. The Gwaltneys filed this timely appeal.

The Gwaltneys' sole contention on appeal is that the trial court erred in applying Tennessee's statute of limitations to time-bar an action which was filed timely in Pennsylvania against a Pennsylvania resident as Tennessee's only contact with the instant action was the fortuitous happening of the incident there. We find that the trial court did not err.

Our standard of review of an appeal from a grant of a motion for judgment on the pleadings is well established.

[ 387 Pa. Super. Page 495]

    and consider against him only those facts that he specifically admits. The parties cannot be deemed to admit either conclusions of law or unjustified inferences.

We will affirm the grant of such a motion only when the moving party's right to succeed is certain and the case is so free from doubt that the trial would clearly be a fruitless exercise. In conducting this inquiry, the court should confine its ...


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