Virgin Island Supreme Court Appeal Win Saves Cases on behalf of Deceased Plaintiffs
On March 30th, the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands issued an Opinion reversing the Superior Court’s order that prevented family members of deceased plaintiffs from seeking an extension for substituting themselves as personal representatives. The move revives three previously dismissed plaintiffs represented by Burns Charest.
Prior to the ruling, the close relatives of deceased plaintiffs could never substitute themselves as personal representatives after the two-year deadline if the other party objected. Thus, even if a surviving family member only learned about the existence of the deceased family member’s lawsuit after the two years had passed, they still lacked the ability to extend the two-year window. With the Supreme Court’s ruling, those family members may now seek an extension for good cause.
“This decision from the Supreme Court has a substantial impact on the law,” says associate Rick Yelton. “Before, our clients did not have the ability to even demonstrate why an extension was warranted. With this ruling, it is clear that the Superior Court has the power to consider our clients’ individual circumstances and make the decision that justice demands.”
Metivier v. Lockheed Martin Corp; S.Ct. Civ. No. 2020-0035, in the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands.