Alaska

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Caution: Alaska is the only state where the prevailing party can recover atty fees [Alaska Court Rule, Rule 82]

Statutes of Limitations (ALASKA)

Personal Injury - 2 yrs.* [AS § 09.10.070]

Wrongful Death - 2 yrs. (after date of death) [AS § 09.55.580]

Med Mal - 2 yrs.* [AS § 09.10.070]

Property Damage - 2 yrs.* [AS § 09.10.070]

Contracts (Written and Oral) - 3 yrs. [AS § 09.10.053]

Contracts for Sale (goods) and Breach of Warranty - 4 yrs. (from tender of delivery) [AS § 45.02.725]

*From the time Plaintiff discovers existence of all elements essential to cause of action [John's Heating Service v. Lamb, 129 P.3d 919 (Alaska 2006)]

Statutes of Repose (ALASKA)

Products- None

Construction of Real Property - 10 yrs. (from the earlier of: date of substantial completion OR last act that caused injury/damage) [AS § 09.10.055]

Claims Against Public/Gov. (NOTE: “Sovereign Immunity” Limitations May Apply) (ALASKA)

 

Against State - Claim must be presented “promptly” [AS § 44.77.010]; then Claimant must wait 1 yr. after claim presentation before suit can be filed [AS § 44.77.040]

Tort Against Municipality - Suit within 2 yrs. [Johnson v. City of Fairbanks, 583 P.2d 181 (Alaska 1978)]

Comparative Negligence (ALASKA)

 

Pure comparative (Plaintiff can recover even if 99% at fault) [AS §§ 09.17.060; 09.17.080]

Made Whole Doctrine (MWD) (ALASKA)

 

Virtually no case law available.  Equitable subrogation is not allowed until Insured has been fully compensated [McCarter v. Alaska Nat. Ins. Co., 883 P.2d 986 (Alaska, 1994)].  MWD recognizes that there may be situations where Defendant’s policy would be exhausted and the injured party would be left without being fully compensated if her insurer collected the subrogation lien before she was herself compensated for her separate damages [O'Donnell v. Johnson, 209 P.3d 128 (Alaska 2009)]. 

Economic Loss Doctrine (ELD) (Assuming No Injury to Person or Damage to “Other Property”) (ALASKA)

 

Recognized/applied.  Cause of action in tort did not extend to purely economic harm sustained by one not in privity with supplier of a defective product.[Smith v. Tyonek Timber, Inc., 680 P.2d 1148 (Alaska 1984)]. 

There are 2 potential exceptions to ELD. 

First, Plaintiffs may recover for purely economic harm where Plaintiffs can show that Defendant knew (or should have foreseen) that particular Plaintiffs (or identifiable class of Plaintiffs) were at risk and that ascertainable economic damages would ensue from the conduct [Mattingly v. Sheldon Jackson, 743 P.2d 356 (Alaska 1987)]. 

 

Second, when a defective product creates situation potentially dangerous to persons or other property, and loss occurs as a result of that danger, strict liability in tort is appropriate theory of recovery, even though damage is confined to the product itself [Northern Power & Engineering Corp. v. Caterpillar Tractor Co., 623 P.2d 324 (Alaska 1981)].

Certificate/Affidavit Of Merit Requirements (Claims Against Licensed Professionals) (ALASKA)

 

No requirements.

Landlord/Tenant Subrogation (ALASKA)

 

No subrogation allowed, “Sutton Rule” applies. Absent express provision in lease establishing Tenant’s liability for loss from negligently started fires, insurance obtained by Landlord is for mutual benefit of both parties and Tenant is coinsured of Landlord [Alaska Ins. Co. v. RCA Alaska Communications, Inc., 623 P.2d 1216 (Alaska 1981)]. 

However, subrogation was allowed where it was the Tenant (and not the Landlord) who purchased the insurance, and Landlord was not be deemed coinsured. [Great American Ins. Co. v. Bar Club, Inc., 921 P.2d 626 (Ala. 1996)]

Reimbursement of Deductible(s) (ALASKA)

 

Auto and Property - Pro rata (must include in subro demand).

MedPay and PIP (ALASKA)

 

MedPay - Subrogation allowed (reimbursement).  PIP - No subrogation allowed and/or no such coverage available.

Liability of Parents (ALASKA)

 

$15,000 + court costs ($25,000 + court costs, if there is insurance with policy limits in excess of $15,000) for knowing/intentional acts [AS § 09.65.255].  Any negligence/willful misconduct of a minor driver is imputed to the person who signed the permit/license application [AS § 28.15.071].

 

 

Joint Liability (ALASKA)

 

Several liability (Plaintiff may recover from each Defendant only that Defendant’s share of fault) [AS § 09.17.080]

Independent Cause of Action for Intentional or Negligent Evidence Spoliation (ALASKA)

 

Alaska has recognized a cause of action for intentional spoliation against a first party and a third party [Hazen v. Municipality of Anchorage, 718 P.2d 456 (Ala. 1986); Nichols v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 6 P.3d 300 (Ala. 2000)].  It does not appear that a cause of action for negligent spoliation has been recognized.

Conflicts of Law (ALASKA)

 

Torts - Alaska looks to the law of the state with the “most significant relationship” to the parties/occurrence [Savage Arms, Inc. v. Western Auto Supply Co., 118 P.3d 49 (Alaska, 2001)].  Contracts - Rights/duties of the parties are determined by the law of the state which has the most significant relationship to the transaction/parties [Palmer G. Lewis Co., Inc. v. ARCO Chemical Co., 904 P.2d 1221 (Alaska 1995)].