Chad A. Mooney successfully argued to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that two outside parties, known as intervenors under the federal rules, could not join a lawsuit after the limitation period had passed, resulting in a dismissal of the alleged claim against the defendants. While watching underlying suit from the sidelines, the intervenors waited to see how the litigation unfolded. Despite the fact that the limitation period had expired, the intervenors sought intervention at an opportune time. Given the procedural hurdle, they argued that the limitation period should be equitably tolled due to extraordinary circumstances outside of their control. The Fourth Circuit ruled that the intervenors sat on their rights and failed to diligently pursue their alleged claim. Thus, the trial court’s decision was affirmed and the intervenors’ alleged claim was dismissed.
On a separate issue, the case presented a question of first impression with the court, however, not dispositive of the intervenors’ claims. While the case was on appeal, the underlying suit between original plaintiff and defendants was dismissed. Under the defense theory, had the intervenors been successful on the tolling argument, there would have been no pending case into which to intervene. Despite the procedural quandary, the court ruled that the intervenors could proceed with the claim, provided their alleged claims were not time barred. The case may be found at CVLR Performance Horses, Inc. v. Wynne, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 11819 (4th Cir. 2015).