Walker v. Armco Steel Corp.

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Facts: On Aug. 22, 1975, Walker was hammering a nail into a cement wall when the nail shattered. Pieces of the nail entered his right eye and caused permanent damage. Defect in the nail was allegedly caused by defendant's negligence.

Procedural History: Plaintiff and Defendant have diversity of citizenship, so plaintiff brought suit in the US Dist. Court for the WD of OK. Filed complaint on Aug. 19, 1977. Service of Process was made on Dec. 1, 1977. Defendant filed motion to dismiss on the ground that the action was barred by OK statute of limitations. OK state law says that the action is not properly commenced for the purposes of the statute of limitations, until service is made on the defendant (as long as service is made within 60 days of the filing). District court dismissed complaint. Appellate Ct. affirmed.

Issue: Whether, in a diversity action, the federal court should follow state law or FRCP in determining when as action is commenced for the purpose of tolling the state statute of limitations.

Arguments: Plaintiff said that the FRCP provides that service commences the action for all purposes, including the tolling of the state statute of limitations.

Reasons: "We can't give the [cause of action] longer life just because" it's in fed court. Law is an integral part of the State statute of limitations. "There is no indication that the rule was intended to toll a state statute of limitations."