Cranfill Sumner attorneys Steven Bader, Susan Hofer and Mica Nguyen Worthy won dismissal for their client, an aircraft maintenance and repair service, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

The plaintiffs sued in North Carolina for damages stemming from airplane crash in South Carolina. They alleged one count of unfair and deceptive trade practice. The trial court dismissed the suit under North Carolina’s borrowing statute. That statute says that if a lawsuit is prohibited by the statute of limitations where the claim arises (in this case South Carolina), then it is barred in North Carolina as well.

In a published decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed. The court made four holdings in its opinion. First, it found that the choice of law provision in the aircraft service warranty did not apply to the plaintiffs’ unfair and deceptive trade practice claim. Second, the court held that the plaintiffs’ claim arose in South Carolina (where it was time-barred), and thus was prohibited by the borrowing statute. Third, the court discerned that the plaintiff had not pleaded a claim for unfair and deceptive trade practice anyway, even if the claim could be brought. And last, the court rejected the plaintiffs attempt to argue equity precluded the borrowing statute’s use in this case.

The opinion re-affirms that the borrowing statute means what it says: a plaintiff cannot file suit in North Carolina if the claim is time-barred in the state where it arose. If you have further questions about the borrowing statute, please contact the attorneys at Cranfill Sumner, LLP.


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