Plaintiff alleges that, in prior litigation brought by Blue Rhino Global Sourcing, defendants committed legal malpractice when they failed to obtain and provide documentation showing (1) plaintiff had sold a limited number of its firepits with the user manuals displaying the Blue Rhino trademark and (2) plaintiff’s net profits from the sales were $7,824.73. In the absence of such documentation, the trial court awarded Blue Rhino $185,199.30 in a summary judgment order issued on July 24, 2017. Given plaintiff’s allegation that defendants’ negligence continued until the issuance of the summary judgment order, plaintiff’s July 20, 2020, complaint does not disclose that the three-year statute of limitations set out in G.S. § 1-15(c) barred a legal malpractice action against defendants.
We reverse the trial court’s grant of defendants’ motion to dismiss.
Although the summary judgment order attached to the complaint as an exhibit discloses specific dates which may be helpful in determining the last act giving rise to plaintiff’s cause of action, we do not find the dates dispositive in our determination of whether the motion to dismiss was properly granted. In treating the allegations in the complaint as true, we cannot say plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Plaintiff’s claim may not be barred by the three-year statute of limitations for legal malpractice actions based upon the allegations in the complaint and was improperly dismissed pursuant to N.C. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
Nothing in this opinion precludes the trial court from addressing this matter pursuant to N.C. R. Civ. P. 12(c) or 56.
Best Choice Products, Inc. v. Hendrick, Bryant, Nerhood, Sanders & Otis, LLP (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-033-22, 10 pp.) (Jeffery Carpenter, J.) Appealed from Forsyth County Superior Court (Richard Gottlieb, J.) Lamar Armstrong for plaintiff; Chad Bomar for defendants. 2022-NCCOA-64