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Appellate Court Holds That Lawyer Waited Too Long To Sue Accountant For Negligence

Kadlec v. Sumner, Ill: Appellate Court, 1st Dist., 2nd Div. 2013 – Google Scholar.

This is an opinion affirming the dismissal of a contribution claim against an accounting firm.

The executor of an estate sued the lawyer for the estate, alleging that the lawyer failed to timely file estate tax returns and that the estate suffered a financial loss as a result. The lawyer then filed a contribution claim against the accounting firm. The trial court dismissed the contribution claim on the ground that the statute of limitations for accounting malpractice had expired.

The appellate court affirmed.

The court reasoned that the lawyer knew that the estate tax return was due on August 16, 2006, because he had obtained an extension of time from the IRS, which extended the due date to August 16, 2006. Thus, on August 16, 2006 the lawyer knew, or should have known, that the accountants had not completed the return. By law the lawyer had two years from that date to file an accounting malpractice action. Because he waited five years, his claim was time-barred.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

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