• April 15, 2010

In honor of “Tax Day,” a day in which many Americans acutely feel the pain of sacrificing a share of the fruits of their labor for national security, interest payments on the national debt, social security,  Congress’ free postage (“franking privilege”) and a few other miscellaneous items, it might help us feel better to keep in mind that it could be worse.

In 2004, Plaintiff Lucille Dubois, a citizen of New York, heeded the call made to all older Americans for a routine colonoscopy, went through her physician-directed preparation of preliminary bowel-cleansing (using a beverage sold by Virginia-based C.B. Fleet Co.) and, she alleges, as a result of this, in the following months she suffered chronic kidney failure and a life, going forward, of pain, discomfort, and dialysis.

This week Dubois filed suit against Fleet in the United States District Court (D. Minn.).  Why did the New Yorker file suit against the Virginia Company in Minnesota in April 2010 based on an injury suffered in New York in late July, 2004?

The applicable statutes of limitation in New York and Virginia (like many states) are not as generous as Minnesota’s and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Ferens doctrine ensures that Plaintiff Dubois will get the benefit of Minnesota’s longer statute of limitation even if her case is later transferred to some other more logical or convenient forum.

The takeaway: taxes are a pain in the butt, but maybe we should count our blessings.

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