Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green tossed out a lawsuit filed by a former maid who alleged a character in the blockbuster book/movie The Help was based on her. The Help’s author, Kathryn Stockett pictured above, denied the allegations. Her attorneys argued that the one year statute of limitations barred the lawsuit. Evidence showed that Ablene Cooper, the Plaintiff, obtained a copy of the book in January 2009, a month before it was published, but didn’t read the book until 2010. The lawsuit was filed in February 2011. Judge Green agreed with Ms. Stockett’s lawyers and dismissed the lawsuit.
Ms. Cooper’s story is not uncommon. Many claims are thrown out of Court simply because they are not filed timely. Mississippi’s laws require lawsuits to be brought within a certain time period. Some, like Ms. Cooper’s, can be as short as one year. Other claims require Plaintiffs to follow strict pre-suit requirements such as sending the defendants a notice of claim. Failure to follow these pre-suit requirements could mean your case gets dismissed.
If you think you have a claim against someone, you need to call an attorney, me for example, and get some advice. Otherwise, your claim could end up being barred and you won’t get any Help.
Chuck Mullins has been helping Mississippi clients for 17 years. Give him a call or check him out on the firm’s website.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.