Williamson v. Columbia Gas & Electric Corp.

186 F.2d 464 (3rd Cir. 1950)


The first action began on February 14, 1938. P charged that D, conspiring with certain other persons, had, in violation of the provisions of the antitrust laws, inflicted great injury upon P. P sought recovery against D alone, even though other parties were named as having conspired with D. On September 16, 1938, P brought in the same court another action against D charging injury in violation of the antitrust laws. P alleged D alone as the wrongdoer. Prior to the dismissal of the second action, the parties had entered into a stipulation. That stipulation provided that 'The alleged right of action sued upon in this cause accrued not later than January 1, 1931.' It was further agreed that if the court should consider the action barred by any applicable statute of limitations the pending motion to dismiss was to be granted. The plaintiff's theory at that time was that his action was not barred by the Delaware statute of limitations, and he evidently felt sufficiently confident of his position to enter into the stipulation which posed the legal issue of its correctness. Subsequent events proved P's theory to be incorrect. The court held that the Delaware statute was applicable and that P's suit was begun too late. The second action was resolved first. On April 29, 1939, the court ordered it dismissed. D then moved to dismiss the first action. The motion was granted and P appeals.