" Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 247.
In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the material before the Court "must be viewed in the light most favorable to the [nonmoving] party." Adickes v. S.H. Kress and Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157, 26 L. Ed. 2d 142, 90 S. Ct. 1598 (1970). Summary judgment will not lie if a reasonable jury could find by a preponderance of the evidence that the nonmoving party is entitled to a verdict. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 252.
B. Applicable Statute of Limitations
This Court has on two previous occasions analyzed the statute of limitations' question and concluded that the New York statute of limitations is applicable in cases with an identical procedural posture. See Harrison v. The Olivetti Office USA, Inc., No. 94cv1167 (D.D.C. Dec. 8, 1995); Smith v. Memorex Corp., No. 94cv1163 (D.D.C. April 4, 1996). The Court also held that the discovery of the injury exception found in N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. § 214-c does not apply to the type of injury at issue here and, therefore, the statutory period is three years from the date of injury. Id. In reaching these conclusions, the Court relied on a New York Appellate Division decision adopting a lower court ruling which held that Section 214-c was not applicable to a claim for "bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome." Wallen v. American Tel. & Tel. Co., Index No. 12336/91 (N.Y. Sup.Ct. Bronx County, Sept. 17, 1992), aff'd, 601 N.Y.S.2d 796 (1st Dep't), leave to appeal denied, 605 N.Y.S.2d 5 (1993).
In Smith, the Court confronted the issue of whether the injury occurs at the onset of symptoms (triggering the statutory period) or whether the injuries were ongoing with no precise moment of injury. Relying on the Wallen decision, this Court concluded that the onset of symptoms was the event that triggered the running of the statute and that exacerbation of existing injuries did not extend the statute of limitation period. Smith v. Memorex Corp., No. 94cv1163 (D.D.C. April 4, 1996) at 10, citing Wallen v. American Telephone & Telegraph, Index No. 12336/91 (N.Y. Sup.Ct. Bronx County, Sept. 17, 1992). Any new injuries had to be "qualitatively different." Id. This conclusion is supported by a recent decision of New York's Fourth Judicial Department, Appellate Division, Piper v. International Business Machines Corporation, 219 A.D.2d 56, 639 N.Y.S.2d 623 (N.Y. App. Div. 1996). The Piper court, agreeing with the Wallen decision, determined that the date of injury is the date of the first onset of symptoms and not the date of first exposure nor the "date of actual awareness of the nature of the injury." 639 N.Y.S.2d at 626.
Turning to the facts here, it is undisputed that the Plaintiff sought medical attention on March 29, 1990, after experiencing spasms and numbness in both hands. (Stat. Mat. Facts at P 5.) After examination, the physician concluded that the symptoms likely indicated carpal tunnel injury. Id. Accordingly, the Court finds that the onset of Plaintiff's symptoms, and therefore her injury, occurred prior to March 29, 1990. Insofar as the Complaint in this case was filed on April 7, 1993, Plaintiff's claims against Olivetti are time-barred by New York's three-year statute of limitations period. The Court, therefore, grants summary judgment for Olivetti.
For the reasons stated, this Court concludes that the New York three-year statute of limitations applies to this case and that the Plaintiff's injuries occurred more than three years prior to the filing of suit. Accordingly, the Court concludes that Plaintiff's claims are time-barred. The Court therefore enters judgment in favor of Olivetti. An appropriate Order accompanies this Memorandum.
JUNE L. GREEN
U.S District Judge
Upon consideration of Defendant Olivetti Office USA, Inc.'s ("Olivetti") Motion for Summary Judgment; Plaintiff's opposition and Defendants reply thereto; the entire record herein, and for the reasons stated in the accompanying memorandum; it is by the Court this the day of July 1996,
ORDERED that Defendant Olivetti's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED and that this case is DISMISSED; and it is further
JUNE L. GREEN
U.S District Judge