United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Affirms Judgment of Dismissal; BLG Defeats Statute of Limitations Forum Shopping
On August 30, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (“Tenth Circuit”) affirmed the ruling of the United States District Court for the District of Utah in the matter of Samantha Gerson v. Logan River Academy, et al., in which the Beach Law Group’s motion to dismiss defendant Logan River Academy was granted.
In the Gerson action, the plaintiff alleged that when she was a minor, she was involuntarily taken from California to Utah where she was enrolled at Logan River Academy. While at Logan River Academy, the plaintiff alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a teacher. Years after the alleged incidents, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Logan River Academy in the United States District Court for the Central District of California in an attempt to take advantage of California’s longer, more lenient statute of limitations period for the filing of childhood sexual assault claims. The Beach Law Group, representing Logan River Academy, successfully transferred the action to the United States District Court for the District of Utah. The Beach Law Group then filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s action on the grounds that the plaintiff’s action was barred by the Utah statute of limitations, which applied to the action given the fact that the alleged assaults occurred within the State of Utah, not in California. The United States District Court for the District of Utah ultimately agreed and dismissed Logan River Academy.
The plaintiff appealed the decision to the Tenth Circuit. After considering the parties’ briefs and oral arguments, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the dismissal entered by the United States District Court for the District of Utah, finding that the Utah statute of limitations – rather than that of California – applied as the primary torts occurred in Utah and the action was brought against a Utah defendant.