Walker v. Armco Steel Corp.

446 U.S. 740 (1980)


Walker (P) was injured on August 22, 1975, when he pounded a sheffield nail manufactured by Armco (D) into a cement wall. P claimed that the nail contained a defect, which caused it to shatter and strike him in the eye. P sued under diversity of citizenship in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The complaint was filed on August 18, 1977. Service of process was made on December 1, 1977. This was past two years. D filed a motion to dismiss the complaint; the action was barred by the Oklahoma statute of limitations. The statute had a two-year limit, and the statute clearly states that an action is not commenced for purposes of the statute of limitations until service of the summons on the defendant. P argued that Fed. R. Civ. P. 3 governs the manner in which an action is commenced in federal court for all purposes. That statute states that an action is commenced by filing a complaint with the court. The case was dismissed, and the court of appeals affirmed that dismissal. P appealed.