Sometimes multiple parties can be held liable for the payment of damages in a single New Mexico truck accident case. A recent case concerns the ability of a plaintiff to name a new party as a defendant in an amended complaint filed years after the initial complaint was filed, and following the expiration of the statute of limitations.
Allegedly, in 2015, a back seat passenger in a truck sustained injuries after the truck was struck by another vehicle. In 2017, the injured passenger brought a lawsuit in New Mexico state court against the driver of the vehicle that collided with the truck. He also sued the company that insured the vehicle that collided with the truck. The insurance company removed the lawsuit to federal court. The plaintiff then filed an amended complaint in 2019, naming as a defendant the employer of the driver of the vehicle that had collided with the truck in which the plaintiff had been traveling at the time of the accident.
The employer responded by filing a motion to dismiss, asserting that the court should dismiss the employer from the lawsuit because the claims against the employer were barred under New Mexico’s applicable three-year statute of limitations. The plaintiff argued in response to the motion to dismiss that his addition of the employer as a defendant was timely under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 because the claims related back to the claims in the original complaint.