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Motor Vehicle Law: Court finds that Connecticut’s accidental failure of suit statute cannot save untimely action originally brought in a foreign jurisdiction

This action arose out of a car accident that occurred in 2017 in Connecticut. The plaintiffs are residents of South Carolina and the defendants are residents of Connecticut. An initial complaint was filed in South Carolina in 2020 pursuant to South Carolina Code § 15-3-535, which provided for a three-year statute of limitations. The court in South Carolina dismissed the action for a lack of personal jurisdiction that same year. The present action was commenced in 2021 in Connecticut based on Connecticut General Statute § 52-584 which provides for a two-year statute of limitations and § 52-592 which permits re-filing of certain failed actions within one year of such failure. The defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that Connecticut’s two-year statute of limitations barred the action and that § 52-592, also known as Connecticut’s accidental failure of suit statute, does not apply as the plaintiffs did not initially bring suit in Connecticut within the limitations of § 52-584. The court holds in favor of the defendants, concluding that because the plaintiffs failed to bring their original action in either a state or federal court of Connecticut, they failed to meet the standards for the application of § 52-592, the accidental failure of suit statute. Furthermore, the court explains, that this statute applies only “to actions commenced in the state courts of Connecticut or [a Connecticut federal] court.” Therefore, plaintiff’s entire case fails as a matter of law and the defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted as to the entirety of the plaintiff’s complaint. Elliott v. Collins, WWM-CV21-6023119-s, 2023 WL 1989721 (Conn. Super. Ct. Feb. 9, 2023).