Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiff sued Defendant in Michigan for negligence. Defendant moved for summary disposition arguing that the lawsuit was barred by Ontario and Ohio statute of limitations.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
Under Michigan’s choice of law doctrine lex fori, Michigan law should be applied to a case unless a foreign state has an interest in applying its law to the litigation and Michigan’s interests do not mandate that Michigan law be applied.
The question to be answered in each case is: Whether the case at hand presents a situation in which reason requires that foreign law supersede the law of this state.View Full Point of Law
Larry Sutherland (Plaintiff), a resident of Ohio, suffered injuries in Michigan when his truck collided with Gregory Zavitz (Defendant), a citizen of Ontario, Canada and employee of Kennington Truck Services (Defendant). Plaintiff sued Defendants for negligence in Michigan court two years and twenty-two days after the accident. Defendants moved for summary disposition, arguing that the suit was barred by Ontario or Ohio statute of limitations. Plaintiff argued the suit should be governed by Michigan’s three-year statute of limitations.
Under the doctrine of lex fori, does Ohio or Ontario have an interest in applying their statute of limitation laws to this litigation?
No, neither Ohio or Ontario have an interest in applying their law to this litigation. The lower court is reversed.
Under the doctrine of lex fori, the Court determined that Ohio law was not applicable because Ohio did not have an interest in applying its law to the litigation. A plaintiff’s residence, without more, does not establish a sufficient interest. The Court similarly determined that Ontario law was not applicable because Ontario did not have an interest in applying its law to the litigation. Ontario follows the doctrine of lex loci delicti, meaning it too would apply Michigan’s statute of limitations to this case.