Summary of Marsh v. Coleman Company
774 F.Supp. 608 (1991)
Facts: P [employee] brought action against D [employer] for breach of contact and age discrimination on 1/19/1990. P was fired on 1/20/1989. P later amended complaint and tried to bring in cause of action for fraud based on events that allegedly took place in 1985. Statute of limitations for the new cause of action was 2 years.
Issue: Was the new cause of action covered under the relation back doctrine?
Rationale: Relation back doctrine applies to events where the original complaint places a defendant on notice of the new causes of action. Here, the age discrimination and the fraud causes of actions arose out of completely different transaction, occurrence, or conduct. The P, by filing the discrimination action against D did not place D on notice of the fraud claim. Therefore, the amended claim does not relate back.
Note: Relation back means that you treat the amended pleading as though it was filed when the original was filed, so it can avoid a statute of limitations problem.