FSM SUPREME COURT
TRIAL DIVISION (Pon.)
Cite as Sarapio v. Maeda Road Construction co., Ltd. ,
3 FSM Intrm. 463 (Pon.1988)
[3 FSM Intrm. 463]
IUHLANA SARAPIO, as Personal
Representative of the ESTATE
of Alberto Sarapio, Deceased
MAEDA ROAD CONSTR. CO., LTD.
FSM CIV. NO. 1987-014
Before Edward C. King
October 12, 1988
For the Plaintiff: Paul A. Lawlor
Attorney at Law
MOORE, CHING, BOERTZEL & LAWLOR
Suite 400 FGIC Building
414 West Soledad Avenue
Agana, Guam 96910
For the Defendants: R. Barrie Michelsen
Attorney at Law
Ramp & Michelsen
P.O. Box 1480
Kolonia, Pohnpei 96941
* * * *
Conflicting affidavits show that the circumstances surrounding the execution of a document allegedly reflecting plaintiffs acceptance of a settlement and her release of, defendant and others from liability for the death of her late husband are not sufficiently clear to permit summary judgment either as to the efficacy of that document or as to the application to the plaintiff's claims of the statute of limitations found at 6 F.S.M.C. 503(2). Citing Luda v. Maeda Road Constr. Co., 2 FSM Intrm. 107
(Pon. 1985). Sarapio v. Maeda Road Constr. Co., 3 FSM Intrm. 463, 464 (Pon. 1988).
Limitations of Actions
The two-year period proclaimed in 6 F.S.M.C. 503(2) is subject to the tolling provisions of 6 F.S.M.C. 806. Accordingly, the statute of limitations has not run against the minor children in this case. Citing Luda v. Maeda Road Constr. Co., 2 FSM Intrm. 107 (Pon. 1935). Sarapio v. Maeda Road Constr. Co., 3 FSM Intrm. 463, 464 (Pon. 1988 ).
EDWARD C. KING, Chief Justice:
The wrongful death complaint here alleges that Alberto Sarapio, a former employee of Maeda Road Construction Company, Ltd., died on August 30, 1980 of injuries sustained at Maeda's construction site at the Pohnpei international airport when a piece of heavy earthmoving equipment, a road grader, was negligently driven over him as he leaned against its left front wheel, asleep during his mid-day lunch break.
The lawsuit was filed against Maeda on March 18, 1987, by Iuhlana Sarapio as administratrix of her deceased husband's estate, and on behalf of herself and their minor children. Maeda has moved to dismiss the complaint on grounds that 6 F.S.M.C. 503(2) requires any wrongful death action to be instituted within two years of the death.
This Court has held that "the two-year period proclaimed in 6 F.S.M.C. 503(2) is subject to the tolling provisions of 6 F.S.M.C. 806." Luda v. Maeda Road Constr. Co., 2 FSM Intrm. 107, 115 (Pon. 1985). Accordingly,as in Luda, the statute of limitations has not run against the minor children of Alberto Sarapio
This case also is similar to Luda in that the record is not sufficient to determine whether the claims of Iuhlana Sarapio on her own behalf are time-barred. This record too contains "reference to facts which might cast doubt on the otherwise obvious conclusion" that the statute has expired.
2 FSM Intrm. at 115.
In addition to seeking dismissal of Mrs. Sarapio's individual claims based on the statute of limitations, Maeda also seeks summary judgment against Mrs. Sarapio individually based upon a document, dated January 8, 1981, allegedly reflecting Mrs. Sarapio's acceptance of a settlement payment of $5,635.22, and her release of Maeda and others from liability for her late husband's death. The circumstances surrounding execution of that document, as shown in the conflicting affidavits filed by the parties, are not sufficiently clear to permit judgment either as to the efficacy of the purported release or as to application of the statute of limitations to Mrs. Sarapio's claims. Genuine issues of material fact remain.
The defendant's motions to dismiss and for summary judgment all are denied.