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Thelen v. Massachusetts Mut. Life Ins. Co – Case Brief Summary (Federal Court)

In Thelen v. Massachusetts Mut. Life Ins. Co., 111 F.Supp.2d 688, 690 (D.Md. 2000), the plaintiffs--policy owners filed a class action against the defendant--insurance company, alleging that the defendant employed fraudulent and deceptive provisions in its insurance policies. Thereafter, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, averring that the statute of limitations had expired. Id. at 691.

On appeal, the plaintiffs maintained that the pendency of two respective class actions in Mississippi and New York, id. at 694, n.5, which occurred concurrently with their action, tolled the running of the statute of limitations. Id. at 694.

The Maryland U.S. District Court stated:

In Maryland, there is no case directly addressing the issue, but what precedents there are, augur against its adoption. See, e.g., Hecht v. Resolution Trust Corp., 333 Md. 324, 333, 635 A.2d 394 . . . (1994).9 Indeed, the existence of Md. Rule 2-101(b), which provided a limited savings window if an identical action was dismissed by another court, clearly indicated the absence, under Maryland law, of the broad, cross-jurisdictional class action equitable tolling advocated by the plaintiffs. Id. at 694-95.

Accordingly, the Court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss. Id. at 695.