Christopher M. Myatt, an attorney in Spicer Rudstrom’s Memphis office, earned a dismissal in a case he handled for a large retail store because the plaintiff failed to have the summons and complaint served within the allotted time frame. That plaintiff claimed personal injuries resulting from a fall in water near the customer service desk in a Memphis-area store back in 2013. She had the original summons issued when she filed the complaint in 2014 but did not serve the company with that summons until 2016. As Chris noted in the motion to dismiss, a summons expires within 90 days of issuance.

A plaintiff may have subsequent alias summonses issued within one year of the unserved summons in order to keep the suit in action. In this case, however, the plaintiff failed to have a new summons issued. The original summons had expired, and the filing of her complaint was ineffective to toll the one-year statute of limitations. The court thus granted Chris’s motion to dismiss.

Chris is a partner in Spicer Rudstrom’s Memphis office. His practice is concentrated primarily in the areas of premises liability, business and commercial representation, products liability and insurance coverage.