Cox v. Jones, 89CA0759

CourtCourt of Appeals of Colorado
Citation802 P.2d 1125
Docket NumberNo. 89CA0759,89CA0759
PartiesSara COX, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Dilworth JONES, Defendant-Appellee. . III
Decision Date07 June 1990

David A. Bauer, P.C., David A. Bauer, Lakewood, for plaintiff-appellant.

Hall and Evans, William James Barber, Christine Van Coney, Denver, for defendant-appellee.

Opinion by Judge NEY.

Plaintiff, Sara Cox, appeals from the dismissal of her complaint against defendant, Dilworth Jones. We reverse.

The complaint filed on October 11, 1988, alleged that plaintiff was injured on October 7, 1986, when her automobile was struck by a vehicle negligently operated by defendant. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to C.R.C.P. 12(b)(5) and for attorney fees, asserting that plaintiff's claim was barred by the general two-year statute of limitations for tort actions.

The trial court determined that the cause of action accrued on October 7, 1986, the date of the accident, and that the complaint was not filed within the two-year statute of limitations for tort actions, §§ 13-80-102(1)(a) and 13-80-108(1), C.R.S. (1987 Repl.Vol. 6A). Therefore, the trial court granted the motion to dismiss and awarded defendant reasonable attorney fees pursuant to § 13-17-201, C.R.S. (1987 Repl.Vol. 6A). This appeal followed.

Plaintiff initially contended that the trial court erred in determining that her cause of action accrued on the date of the collision rather than on the date plaintiff satisfied the "threshold" provision of the Colorado Auto Accident Reparations Act (Act) contained in § 10-4-714(1)(e), C.R.S. (1987 Repl.Vol. 4A). However, upon order of this court, supplemental briefs have been filed addressing the applicability of § 13-80-101(1)(j), C.R.S. (1987 Repl.Vol. 6A), a three-year statute of limitations, as the appropriate statute to be applied to this cause.

As a result, the determinative issue before us is whether the general two-year statute of limitations for tort actions, § 13-80-102(1)(a), bars plaintiff's claim, or whether her cause of action is governed by § 13-80-101(1)(j). C.R.S. (1987 Repl.Vol. 6B), the more specific three-year statute of limitations for causes of action arising under the Act.

Section 13-80-101(1)(j) provides:

"The following civil actions, regardless of the theory upon which suit is brought, or against whom suit is brought, shall be commenced within three years after the cause of action accrues, and not thereafter:


"(j) All actions under the 'Colorado Auto Accident Reparations Act', part 7 of article 4 of title 10, C.R.S.....

The purpose of the Act is to avoid inadequate compensation to victims of automobile accidents, to require registrants of motor vehicles to procure insurance, and to provide benefits to occupants of vehicles. Section 10-4-702, C.R.S. (1987 Repl.Vol. 4A). The Act specifically limits direct tort recovery benefits, § 10-4-713, C.R.S. (1987 Repl.Vol. 4A), as well as the bringing of tort actions. Section 10-4-714, C.R.S. (1987 Repl.Vol. 4A). See Pistora v. Rendon, 765 P.2d 1089 (Colo.App.1988).

Statutory terms are to be given effect according to their plain and obvious meaning. Charnes v. Lobato, 743 P.2d 27 (Colo.1987). Absent a clear expression of contrary legislative intent, a statute of limitations specifically addressing a particular class of cases controls over a more general or catch-all statute of limitations. Persichini v. Brad Ragan, Inc., 735 P.2d 168 (Colo.1987). Moreover, it is a fundamental rule of statutory construction that each clause and sentence of a statute must be presumed to have purpose and use, and that purpose and use cannot be ignored by the courts. See Colorado General Assembly v. Lamm, 700 P.2d 508 (Colo.1985).


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5 cases
  • Dove v. Delgado
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 15 Abril 1991
    ...the parties had submitted their appellate briefs in the present action, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Cox v. Jones, 802 P.2d 1125 (Colo.App.1990), on June 7, 1990, in which the court held that the three-year statute of limitations under § 13-80-101(1)(j), 6A C.R.S. (198......
  • Jones v. Cox
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 6 Abril 1992
    ...more general section 13-80-102(1)(a), the three-year statute of limitations of section 13-80-101(1)(j) is appropriate here. Cox v. Jones, 802 P.2d 1125 (Colo.App.1990). We affirm and also hold that the statute of limitations begins to run from the date the physical injury and its cause were......
  • Reider v. Dawson
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • 3 Diciembre 1992
    ...erred in concluding that the one-year statute of limitations, § 13-80-103(1)(c), was a bar to their claims. Relying on Cox v. Jones, 802 P.2d 1125 (Colo.App.1990), aff'd, 828 P.2d 218 (Colo.1992), they argue that claims arising from an automobile-pedestrian accident are governed by the thre......
  • Michaelson v. Michaelson, 92CA0052
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • 7 Diciembre 1995
    ...specifically addressing a particular class of cases controls over a more general or catch-all statute of limitations." Cox v. Jones, 802 P.2d 1125, 1126 (Colo.App.1990), aff'd, 828 P.2d 218 Hence, § 13-80-101(1)(f), which specifically and explicitly addresses actions for breach of fiduciary......
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