WEST virginia legislature
2016 regular session
Senate Bill 29
By Senator Palumbo
[Passed March 7, 2016;
in effect 90 days from passage]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §55-2-21 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating generally to tolling statute of limitations in certain cases; limiting circumstances within which statute of limitations is tolled for institution of third-party complaints associated with pending civil actions; providing alternative periods when statute of limitations on third-party complaints is tolled; defining “third-party complaint”; and clarifying that this section does not limit doctrine of equitable tolling or discovery rule.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §55-2-21 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. LIMITATION OF ACTIONS AND SUITS.
§55-2-21. Statutes of limitation tolled on claims assertible in civil actions when actions commence.
(a) After a civil action is commenced, the running of any statute of limitation is tolled for, and only for, the pendency of that civil action as to any claim that has been or may be asserted in the civil action by counterclaim, whether compulsory or permissive, or cross-claim : Provided, That if a permissive counterclaim would be barred but for the provisions of this section, the permissive counterclaim may be asserted only in the action tolling the statute of limitations under this section. This section shall be deemed to toll the running of any statute of limitation with respect to any claim for which the statute of limitation has not expired on the effective date of this section, but only for so long as the action tolling the statute of limitations is pending.
(b) Any defendant who desires to file a third-party complaint shall have one hundred eighty days from the date of service of process of the original complaint, or the time remaining on the applicable statute of limitations, whichever is longer, to bring any third-party complaint against any non-party person or entity: Provided, That any new party brought into litigation by a third-party complaint shall be afforded, from the date of service of process of the third-party complaint, an additional 180-day period, or the remaining statute of limitations period, whichever is longer, to file any third-party complaint of its own, and any applicable statute of limitation shall be tolled during this time period.
(c) For purposes of this section, the term “third-party complaint” means a claim brought by a defendant against any person or entity that was not originally a party to the underlying civil action, where the new claim is made a part of the underlying civil action.
(d) This section tolls the running of any statute of limitation with respect to any claim for which the statute of limitation has not expired on the effective date of this section, but only for so long as the action tolling the statute of limitations is pending. This section does not limit the ability of a court to use the doctrine of equitable tolling or the discovery rule to toll the statute of limitations in any action, including any third-party complaint that would otherwise be subject to subsection (b) of this section.