Legal Malpractice Claim Equitably Tolled by Attorney's Representations

The Indiana Appellate Court reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a case on the grounds of statute of limitations by reasoning that the claim was equitably tolled.  In this case, Elaine Chenore v. Robert Plantz, et. al, Ms. Chenorepossessed a judgment against an individual.  In 2005, Ms. Chenore retained Plantz to seek the recovery of this judgment.  The individual later declared bankruptcy, which Plantz informed Ms. Chenore about, but nevertheless, never filed a claim on her behalf.  In 2012, Ms. Chenore learned that the individual’s bankruptcy was discharged and he had paid 100% of the claims filed.  However, Ms. Chenore never received anything from the individual because Plantz failed to file a claim on her behalf.

Ms. Chenore then filed a legal malpractice action against Plantz.  But, the trial court dismissed the claim on the basis that it was barred by Indiana’s legal malpractice statute of limitations, which is two years.  Ms. Chenore appealed this decision and the Indiana Appellate Court reversed the trial court’s decision by reasoning that based upon the complaint’s allegations, Plantz’s representations to Ms. Chenore – stating he would file a claim on her behalf - could amount to an equitable tolling of the statute of limitations and, thus, dismissal was inappropriate.

Alex Passo and Patterson Law Firm, LLC handle commercial litigation and professional negligence cases throughout Illinois.  Alex can be reached at (312) 750-1820 or