Where the circuit court ruled that the statute of limitations barred appellant’s personal injury claims against appellee, an emergency order related to the COVID-19 pandemic tolled all statutes of limitations, not just those that would have expired during a discrete period.
At issue is the Seventh Order, which “limited the tolling period to the 126 days between March 16, 2020, and July 19, 2020.”
On Jan. 20, 2019, “Dominic Tran, Hue Ngo, Catherine Tran, and Elizabeth Tran were injured in a car accident involving a collision with Vanessa Ines Moriarty.” On March 24, 2021, “GEICO insurance filed warrants in debt on behalf of the Trans and Ngo.” Moriarty responded with a plea in bar based on expiration of the two-year statute of limitations.
The general district court granted the plea in bar.
“The circuit court sustained the plea in bar holding, that the plain language of the emergency orders states that the tolling period only applies to statutes of limitations that would otherwise expire during March 16, 2020, through July 19, 2020. …
“GEICO appealed, arguing the emergency orders tolled all claims during the 126-day period. We agree.”
This case is controlled by English v. Quinn, 76 Va. App. 80 (2022), where “this Court determined that the Supreme Court’s emergency orders entered between March 16, 2020, and July 8, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, tolled all statutes of limitations, not just those that would have expired during the tolling period.”
“Accordingly, we hold that because the emergency orders tolled and extended all statutes of limitations, appellants’ suits were not time-barred. Therefore, we reverse the circuit court’s order.”
Reversed and remanded.
Tran, et al. v. Moriarty, Record No. 0648-22-4, Feb. 21, 2023. CAV unpublished opinion (White). From the Circuit Court of Fairfax County. (Smith). Christy W. Monolo for appellants. Alexander P. Faig. VLW 023-7-086, 4 pp.