The Appellate Group

Estate of Huitron v. Kaye

Estate of Huitron v. Kaye, 2022 UT 36 (Petersen, J.)

Personal Injury/Statute of Limitations

A tortfeasor collided with another car, and everyone died in the crash except for the plaintiff. Three years later, the plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the tortfeasor’s estate. The tortfeasor’s estate moved for partial summary judgment because the Nonclaim Statute required claims against a decedent’s estate to be filed within one year of the decedent’s death. The district court denied the motion. The Utah Supreme Court granted interlocutory review and reversed, holding:

  • The Nonclaim Statute functions as a complete bar to claims against an estate made after the one-year presentment deadline. The presentment deadline is not waivable, and the one-year period cannot be tolled. Thus, the Nonclaim Statute bars the plaintiff from recovering against any of the tortfeasor’s estate’s assets.
  • The tortfeasor’s estate is entitled to a summary judgment order that its assets are not exposed in the lawsuit, that the plaintiff may collect any damages awarded to him from the available insurance proceeds, and that the damages recoverable from the insurer do not include proceeds from a potential bad faith claim against the insurer. 

Read the full court opinion