Statutes of limitation are designed to assure fairness to parties and prevent surprise lawsuits by determining the maximum time allowed after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. As a practical matter, statutes of limitation avoid fraud on the court by disallowing claims to linger “until evidence has been lost, memories have faded, and witnesses have disappeared.” In re Jim L. Shetakis Distrib. Co., 415 B.R. 791, 799 (D. Nev. 2009) aff’d, 401 F. App’x 249 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Burnett v. N.Y. Cent. R.R. Co., 380 U.S. 424, 428, 85 S.Ct. 1050, 13 L.Ed.2d 941 (1965) (as quoted in Oltman v. Holland America Line, Inc., 538 F.3d 1271, 1278 (9th Cir. 2008))). The appropriate accrual date after which a claim may not be filed is a question of law if the facts are uncontroverted. Winn v. Sunrise Hosp. & Med. Ctr., 277 P.3d 458, 463 (2012).
The time allowed to file a claim may be extended pursuant to the “discovery rule”, which is also known as the inquiry notice doctrine. The discovery rule is available when fairness dictates that the plaintiff should be allowed more time to file her claim because the nature of the claim was hidden from her somehow. Claimants must demonstrate the reasons or excuses why the statute should be tolled. Siragusa v. Brown, 971 P.2d 801, 807 (Nev. 1998). “This rule requires a plaintiff to use due diligence in determining the existence of a cause of action and delays the accrual of the cause of action until the plaintiff obtains inquiry notice. Bemis v. Estate of Bemis, 114 Nev. 1021, 1025, 967 P.2d 437, 440 (1998) (applying the inquiry notice standard to determine when the applicable statute of limitations ran).” Continue reading Nevada Statutes of Limitation and the Discovery Rule