Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Maryland Court of Special Appeals: Perpetual Waiver of Statute of Limitations Unenforceable

In 2009, I helped my partner David Lease try the case of Ahmad v. Eastpines Terrace Apts. in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. In that case, the plaintiff sued a company owned by his elderly father alleging that he was entitled to payment for services allegedly rendered to the company, and for amounts allegedly advanced on behalf of the company.

Defendant denied owing anything to Mr. Ahmad, and argued that even if any amounts ever had been due Plaintiff for his claims, those claims were barred by Maryland's three year statute of limitations. Plaintiff argued that a document he drafted and had his elderly father sign waived the statute of limitations. [The document had been drafted in English, and Plaintiff's father could not read English]

At trial, the Circuit Court held that the document did not perpetually waive the statute of limitations, and that in any event, a perpetual waiver would be against public policy and unenforceable. Judgment was entered in favor of our client on all of Plaintiff's claims. Plaintiff appealed to the Court of Special Appeals.

The Court of Special Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court. The appellate Court held that the document in question did not specifically say that it waived limitations perpetually, and that even if it did, perpetual waivers of limitations would be unenforceable under Maryland law.

A copy of the opinion is here.

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