Bailey v. Reeves

CourtKentucky Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtLEIBSON
Citation662 S.W.2d 832
Decision Date19 January 1984
PartiesGeorge E. BAILEY, Appellant, v. Motley W. REEVES, Appellee.

Page 832

662 S.W.2d 832
George E. BAILEY, Appellant,
v.
Motley W. REEVES, Appellee.
Supreme Court of Kentucky.
Jan. 19, 1984.

Page 833

William A. Miller, Sr., Louisville, Morris Butler, Greensburg, for appellant.

Kim F. Quick, Collier, Arnett & Coleman, Elizabethtown, for appellee.

LEIBSON, Justice.

This is a case arising out of the plaintiff's operation of a motor vehicle where the defendant is a nonmotorist. The sole issue is whether the statute of limitations on this action is two years as provided in Section 230(6) of KRS Chapter 304, the Motor Vehicles Reparations Act (MVRA), or whether the one year statute for personal injury actions as provided in KRS 413.140 applies.

On August 26, 1980, appellant was operating his truck north on Kentucky Highway 61 in Larue County, Kentucky, when the truck struck a cow. Appellant filed suit on August 18, 1982 alleging that the cow was owned by the appellee and the accident was caused by appellee's negligence.

The trial court dismissed the action on grounds that it was barred by KRS 413.140 since it was not filed within one year from the date of the accident. The Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed. Because the literal language of the MVRA extends the statute of limitations to two years for actions "with respect to accidents occurring in this Commonwealth and arising from the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle," when not "abolished" by the Act, we reverse.

We have been invited to engage in a dialogue regarding the intention of the legislature in enacting the MVRA and to add limiting language to KRS 304.39-230(6) based on appellee's interpretation of some rather vague commentary to the parent Act, the Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reparations Act, from which portions of the language in our Act derive. The Kentucky no-fault law was a patchwork that included portions of the Uniform Act here and there. But the General Assembly modified the Act in many respects to conform to Kentucky's perception of constitutional limitations and other policy considerations and to add other features not included in the parent Act.

Page 834

The appellee argues that the two-year statute of limitations, KRS 304.39-230(6), is applicable only with respect to actions for tort liability against an owner, operator or occupant of a motor vehicle, but we find no such limiting language in the Act. The Section at issue states as follows:

"An action for tort liability not abolished by KRS 304.39-060 may be commenced not later than two (2) years after the injury, or the death, or the last basic or added reparation payment made by any reparation obligor, whichever occurs later." KRS 304.39-230(6).

If the legislature intended this Section to be limited to "an action for tort liability against an owner, operator or user of a motor vehicle," we must assume that such language would have been expressed in this Section of the statute.

The only limiting language in this Section of the statute is "not abolished by KRS 304.39-060." KRS 304.39-060 abolishes tort liability in certain limited circumstances that have no application to this case. KRS 304.39-060 is not concerned with whether the action is against a motorist or nonmotorist, but...

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134 practice notes
  • Lafferty v. US, Civ. A. No. 94-13.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Kentucky
    • 4 Abril 1995
    ...or occupant of a motor vehicle with respect to which security has been provided as required' by the Act." Bailey v. Reeves, Ky., 662 S.W.2d 832, 835 (1984). Record No. 32. Further, Windsor argues that "there is no basis for Defendant's conclusion that it is relieved of liability u......
  • Cabinet for Families & Children v. Cummings, No. 2002-SC-0788-DG.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 19 Mayo 2005
    ...of a statute their literal meaning unless to do so would lead to an absurd or wholly unreasonable conclusion." Bailey v. Reeves, 662 S.W.2d 832, 834 (Ky.1984). Statutory interpretation is a matter of law and we are not required to give deference to the trial court's decision. Commonwea......
  • Estep v. Combs, No. 6:18-CV-23-REW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Kentucky
    • 17 Junio 2020
    ...their plain meaning. To do so restricts us from adding restrictive language ... where it does not now exist." Bailey v. Reeves , 662 S.W.2d 832, 834 (Ky. 1984). The plain meaning of KRS 150.090(6),16 as well as Kentucky cases interpreting analogous statutes, generally support a constru......
  • Williams v. Com., No. 2003-SC-0319-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 22 Noviembre 2006
    ...of a statute their literal meaning unless to do so would lead to an absurd or wholly unreasonable conclusion." Bailey v. Reeves, 662 S.W.2d 832, 834 (Ky.1984). None of the words in the statute refer to a course of conduct, but rather, they refer to singular and specific periods of cond......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
134 cases
  • Lafferty v. US, Civ. A. No. 94-13.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Kentucky
    • 4 Abril 1995
    ...or occupant of a motor vehicle with respect to which security has been provided as required' by the Act." Bailey v. Reeves, Ky., 662 S.W.2d 832, 835 (1984). Record No. 32. Further, Windsor argues that "there is no basis for Defendant's conclusion that it is relieved of liability u......
  • Cabinet for Families & Children v. Cummings, No. 2002-SC-0788-DG.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 19 Mayo 2005
    ...of a statute their literal meaning unless to do so would lead to an absurd or wholly unreasonable conclusion." Bailey v. Reeves, 662 S.W.2d 832, 834 (Ky.1984). Statutory interpretation is a matter of law and we are not required to give deference to the trial court's decision. Commonwea......
  • Estep v. Combs, No. 6:18-CV-23-REW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Kentucky
    • 17 Junio 2020
    ...their plain meaning. To do so restricts us from adding restrictive language ... where it does not now exist." Bailey v. Reeves , 662 S.W.2d 832, 834 (Ky. 1984). The plain meaning of KRS 150.090(6),16 as well as Kentucky cases interpreting analogous statutes, generally support a constru......
  • Williams v. Com., No. 2003-SC-0319-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • 22 Noviembre 2006
    ...of a statute their literal meaning unless to do so would lead to an absurd or wholly unreasonable conclusion." Bailey v. Reeves, 662 S.W.2d 832, 834 (Ky.1984). None of the words in the statute refer to a course of conduct, but rather, they refer to singular and specific periods of cond......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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