Case Caption: Edna Santiago v. Virgin Islands Housing AuthorityCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2010-0010Date: 07/31/2012Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In a suit by an apartment resident for injuries allegedly suffered after a caustic sewer solvent was used to clear pipes in her building, the Superior Court correctly determined that a product called "Red Hot Sewer Solvent" was a "hazardous substance" subject to the labeling requirements of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, but erred in granting the product manufacturer's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff's claims are not preempted by the federal act because two of them do not involve the imposition of labeling or packaging requirements, and it is not clear without remand whether three other claims would involve such requirements to trigger federal preemption. The Superior Court correctly determined that the running of the statute of limitations against plaintiff's claims against the seller of the product was not tolled by the discovery rule because plaintiff was aware of her injuries immediately, nor did the commencement of those claims for limitation purposes relate back under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 to the filing date of the complaint against a distributor of the product. Accordingly, the Superior Court did not err in holding that plaintiff's claims against the seller were barred by the two-year statute of limitations. Therefore, the Superior Court's order granting the manufacturer's motion for summary judgment is reversed and remanded, and its order granting seller's motion to dismiss is affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion