If someone is wrongly named in a lawsuit can they be dismissed from the case before it gets to court? If yes, by what means? Factual example: A man was property manager for an Homeowners Association. A renter slipped and fell and was injured in common area. Renter called HOA property manager to report accident. Property manager visited renter and said he’d have the normally unused path renter used repaired. Then he told HOA President about incident. President said ”have them file with HOA insurance, otherwise do nothing”. Renter filed and was awarded some money. Now three years later renter is suing HOA, rental agency and it’s owner, owner of unit, and the property manager however he is incorrectly named as the HOA President. Further, property management contract had a Hold Harmless clause. Thank you.
Wrongly Named If someone is wrongly named in a lawsuit can they be dismissed…
Re: Wrongly Named
You will likely have to show up at court and move to be dismissed from the lawsuit on the grounds that you have stated. As you can see, anyone can be named in a lawsuit. If you would like information on how you can have access to legal advice before having to make a substantial financial committment, please e-mail me for more informaiton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Either way, I wish you good luck
The Law Office of James L. Griffin
Post Office Box 5057
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Re: Wrongly Named
Your question raises several questions. A lawyer really needs to see the papers to give you a dependable answer. Also, you need to file an Answer, otherwise you will be subject to a judgment against you, regardless of the merits of the case. Regarding your question, it is unclear what is meant by the statement that you were sued in the Complaint, but incorrectly identified as the HOA president. This fact, in and of itself, does not to me indicate that you necessarily have a clear defense. Under “liberal pleading rules,” the Plaintiff may have sufficiently named you in the suit, even though there is some inaccuracy. This presents a difficult procedural issue. (If you have simply been mis-identified, and the Complaint clearly attempts to sue you only as HOA president, then technically you probably need to file a motion for “summary judgment.” This would be very difficult for a non-lawyer to handle by himself.) The substantive questions presented are (1) whether the property manager has exposure for this incident and (2) whether the “hold harmless” provision will protect you. As for (1), as a general matter, as the agent of the property management company (which is what I presume from your question), you should not be liable unless you personally created or contributed to the hazardous condition. As for the “hold harmless” provision, there is a very good chance that this is not enforceable. This question, however, really needs more facts. All-in-all, you should (if you have not done so already) consult and hire a lawyer. (Perhaps there is a liability insurance policy covering you.) (I am also confused by that portion of the question referring to an “award”; perhaps that was “medpay.”) Good luck.
Law Offices of John M. Kirby
2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 250
Raleigh, NC 27607-6479