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Reynolds v. Moore

Supreme Court of Wyoming

February 11, 2014

Margaret REYNOLDS and David Reynolds, husband and wife, Appellants (Plaintiffs),
v.
Jean B. MOORE, an individual, Judith Jaeger and Wilford Jaeger, husband and wife, Appellees (Defendants).

Page 363

Representing Appellants: Alan C. Stephens of Thomsen Stephens Law Offices, Idaho Falls, Idaho [*]; John D. Bowers of the Bowers Law Firm, Afton, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Stephens.

Representing Appellee Jean B. Moore: Julie Nye Tiedeken and Sean W. Scoggin of McKellar, Tiedeken & Scoggin, LLC, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Scoggin.

Representing Appellees Judith Jaeger and Wilford Jaeger: Scott Paul Landry of Pratt & Landry, LLP, Lone Tree, Colorado.

Before KITE, C.J., and HILL, VOIGT [†], BURKE, and DAVIS, JJ.

KITE, Chief Justice.

[¶ 1] The district court dismissed Margaret and David Reynolds' negligence claims against Ms. Moore and their respondeat superior claims against her employers, Judith and Wilford Jaeger. We conclude the district court erred by dismissing the Reynolds' complaint. The mistake in the original summons served upon Ms. Moore was not fatal, and the district court obtained jurisdiction over her prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Given the action against Ms. Moore was valid, the district court erred in dismissing the Reynolds' claims against the Jaegers because they were derivative and could not be maintained in their employee's absence.

[¶ 2] We reverse and remand.

ISSUES

[¶ 3] The Reynolds present the following issues on appeal:

I. Did the district court err when it found that Defendant Moore was not sufficiently served for the court to obtain jurisdiction?
II. Did the district court err when it held that Moore sufficiently plead[ed] the affirmative defenses of insufficiency of process and insufficiency of service under Wyo. R. Civ.P. 12(b)(4) and (b)(5)?
III. Did the district court err when it dismissed Plaintiffs' complaint against the Jaegers because Plaintiffs' claims against the Jaegers were derivative of the claims asserted against Moore?

Page 364

Ms. Moore and the Jaegers essentially restate the same issues with respect to the claims against each of them.

FACTS

[¶ 4] On March 4, 2008, Mrs. Reynolds and Ms. Moore were involved in an automobile accident in Jackson, Wyoming, and Mrs. Reynolds was injured. At the time of the ...


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