Case

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Moore v Baker

Facts: Moore had a bad result in surgery, and she sues Dr. Baker. Her cause of action is for lack of informed consent: she claims that he didn’t explain to her adequately what the risks involved in the surgery were; failed to advise her of alternative surgery. After the cause of action was filed, the statute of limitations ran out. Then Baker filed a motion for summary judgment based on informed consent. The plaintiff now wants to file her motion to amend her cause of action under Rule 15(c) to include a cause of action for simple negligence. Rule 15(c) tells us that amendments relate back to the date of the original pleading when the claim or defense asserted arose out of the same conduct, transaction, or occurrence. But this language isn’t being used the same way as in other contexts. Issue: Whether the original complaint gave notice to the defendant of the claim now being asserted. Rule 15(c) Relation Back of Amendments. An amendment of a pleading relates back to the date of the original pleading when (2) the claim or defense asserted in the amended pleading arose out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth or attempted to be set forth in the original pleading, or Holding: Moore's claim does not arise out of the same conduct, transaction, or occurrence as the claims in the original complaint. Therefore, the amended complaint does not relate back to the original complaint, and the proposed new claims are barred by the statute of limitations. Reasoning: The amended complaint did not relate back to the original complaint because there was no negligence mentioned in the original complaint. The doctor wasn’t on notice that he had a negligence claim against him. The concept behind pleading is that we put you on notice. But all the doctor knew about was the claim involving informed consent. Notes Whether the original complaint gave notice of the amended claim. Whenever there is relation back is because the statute of limitations has expired. If the purpose of the statute of limitations is to give notice, then asking in the context of relating back makes sense. The court could have said that def had notice from time of original complaint . Was the amended complaint reasonably foreseeable to the defendant? But there is surprise and prejudice to the defendant.