US lawyer considering representing several tourists injured on a bus excursion in Dom Rep
When recently considering whether we should represent several tourists injured on a bus excursion in the Dominican Republic, it was necessary to evaluate the statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in the Dominican Republic and determine how the statutes of Pennsylvania would affect the filing of those claims. After careful analysis, we determined that Pennsylvania state court was the best forum for the instant cases. While Pennsylvania as a general rule would apply its own statute of limitations, a limited exception under the Pennsylvania "borrowing statute," 42 Pa. Cons.Stat.Ann.Sec.5521 (Purdon), would dictate that plaintiffs would only have six months from the date of injury to bring suit for damages of injury occurring in the Dominican Republic. Indeed, the "borrowing statute" required the courts of this commonwealth to apply the period of limitation of either Pennsylvania or the place where the claim accrued, whichever first bars the claim.Since the Dominican Republic has its own set of protections for the local tourism industry, the statute barring claims of injury in that jurisdiction is just six months. Thus, working with counsel in the Dominican Republic was exigent, and upon a telephone conference, we isolated and identified the necessary points of consideration to preserve a claim of damages. Hence, plaintiffs' claims were preserved as suit was initiated and filed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and, inter alia, a time stamped copy of the summons was forwarded to counsel in the Dominican Republic, and all parties were appropriately served pursuant to the local rules at that time. Therefore, to avoid substantive errors that often result in legal malpractice claims, such as a complete surprise that your client's claim may be time barred, time sensitive research of the foreign system of law, as well as finding a competent and available local counsel in the foreign destination is, and should always be, the first goal. For those claims that afford enough time to act, a consideration of the three major criteria outlined above is essential.... read more
Go back | Date: 15 Jan 2011
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