Pamela Jo Raymond sued her paternal grandparents, Aaron and Hulda Ingram, alleging that Aaron sexually abused her when she was a child and that Hulda negligently allowed the abuse to occur. The trial court granted the Ingrams' motion for summary judgment,
Raymond alleged that when she was between the ages of 4 and 17, Aaron Ingram sexually abused her, with the knowledge and consent of Hulda Ingram. Several experts affied that Raymond's sexual abuse caused her to have stomach cramps, a sleep disorder, and other problems. Raymond alleged that she first realized her problems were connected with the sexual abuse when she began therapy in August 1982. She also stated, however, that as a child if she had to stay with her grandparents she would get a stomachache.
Hulda Ingram moved for summary judgment, asking that the case against her be dismissed because the statute of limitations had run. Aaron Ingram's counsel argued against the grant of summary judgment stating:
Judge Robert Elston refused to grant summary judgment, ruling that whether Raymond had discovered her cause of action within the statute of limitations was an issue for the trier of fact to determine. The case was then assigned to Judge Richard Ishikawa for trial. Before any evidence was presented, Hulda renewed her motion for summary judgment. This time, rather than oppose the motion, Aaron joined it. Judge Ishikawa granted Hulda's motion for summary judgment and granted Aaron partial
CONSIDERATION OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT BY THE TRIAL COURT
Raymond contends that Hulda should not have been allowed to bring her summary judgment motion before the trial judge, because a different judge at the superior court previously denied the motion. For support, she cites King County Local Rule (KCLR) 7(b)(1)(A), which states:
The Ingrams do not dispute that the second motion was made upon the same facts as the first. Thus, under KCLR 7(b)(1)(A), Hulda should not have asked the trial court to rule on her summary judgment motion.
Raymond argues that Aaron should be estopped from contending that she knew all of the essential elements of her cause of action before she turned 18, because Aaron took an inconsistent position on the first summary judgment motion. At the first hearing, Aaron's counsel argued that Raymond was not aware of the causal connection between her damages and the sexual abuse until she began
(Italics ours.) Markley, at 614-15 (quoting 19 Am. Jur. Estoppel § 573, at 704).
Aaron took a position in the first motion for summary judgment inconsistent from his later position and prevailed. The motions court denied Hulda's motion for summary judgment. The denial of a motion for summary judgment, however, is not a final judgment. Glass v. Stahl Specialty Co., 97 Wn.2d 880, 882-83, 652 P.2d 948 (1982). Unlike Mueller, no judgment was entered upon Aaron's earlier position and the doctrine of judicial estoppel is inapplicable. Markley.
Raymond contends that the discovery rule should apply
The Supreme Court recently addressed the issue of whether the discovery rule applies in sexual abuse cases. Tyson v. Tyson, 107 Wn.2d 72, 727 P.2d 226 (1986). In Tyson, when the victim was 26 years old, she sued her father because he had sexually molested her during her childhood. The victim alleged that she had repressed the incidents of abuse and did not remember them until she had therapy. Thus, she contended that the cause of action should not accrue until her therapy began in 1983, even though she turned 18 years old in 1975. The Supreme Court rejected this contention holding that the discovery rule does not apply where there is no objective, verifiable evidence of the original wrongful act and resulting physical injury.
Raymond admitted that, before she had therapy, she remembered the assaults and realized that as a child she had mental anguish associated with the sexual abuse. Before her therapy, she also had memories of the events giving rise to her cause of action and of some injury associated with those events. As with traumatic injury, Raymond's cause of action for sexual assault accrued once she reached the age of majority. See Lessee v. Union Pac. R.R., supra. It does not matter that Raymond had not discovered the causal connection to all her injuries, because when Raymond reached the age of majority she knew that she had substantial damages associated with the sexual abuse. See Steele v. Organon, Inc., 43 Wn.App. 230, 716 P.2d 920, review denied, 106 Wn.2d 1008 (1986). The trial court correctly applied the statute of limitations.
The judgment is affirmed.
COLEMAN and GROSSE, JJ., concur.
Review denied by Supreme Court September 1, 1987.