Garabedian v. Skochko

232 Cal. App. 3d 836, 283 Cal. Rptr. 802 (1991)

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Garabedian v. Skochko

California Court of Appeal
232 Cal. App. 3d 836, 283 Cal. Rptr. 802 (1991)

Facts

Haig Garabedian (plaintiff), a real estate agent, was seriously injured when he inspected a United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) home and slipped and fell on debris that had accumulated around an empty swimming pool. Following the mandates of the Federal Tort Claims Act, Garabedian filed a claim with HUD in May of 1988. A few months later, HUD rejected the claim and sent Garabedian a letter advising him that although HUD owned the property, it was managed by an independent contractor, Steven Skochko, for whom HUD denied responsibility for his negligent acts. It was not until Garabedian received this letter that he had any knowledge that an independent contractor, and not HUD, managed the property. In August of 1988, Garabedian filed an action in federal court against HUD and Skochko. A year later, the federal court dismissed Skochko from the action without prejudice because the court lacked personal jurisdiction over Skochko. More than a year later, in September of 1989, Garabedian filed a state-law negligence action against Skochko in a California state court. The trial court dismissed the state-law claim as timed-barred under the applicable one-year statutory limitations period for personal-injury claims.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stone, J.)

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