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EVANS v. KEY TRONIC CORP.

September 8, 1997

MAUREEN EVANS, Plaintiff,
v.
KEY TRONIC CORPORATION, LOCKHEED CORPORATION a/k/a DELAWARE LOCKHEED, WHITE PINE SOFTWARE, INC., Individually and as Successor to VISUAL T.I., INC., Individually and as Successor to VISUAL TECHNOLOGY INCORPORATED, Individually and as Successor to ONTEL CORPORATION, Defendants.


LESLIE G. FOSCHIO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOSCHIO

LESLIE G. FOSCHIO

 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

 JURISDICTION

 This matter was referred to the undersigned by the Hon. Richard J. Arcara on June 2, 1995 for report and recommendation on any dispositive motions. The matter is presently before the court on Defendants White Pine Software, Visual T.I., Inc., Ontel Corporation, and Visual Technology Incorporated's motion for summary judgment, filed January 27, 1997; Defendant Key Tronic Corporation's motion for summary judgment, filed January 29, 1997; and Defendant Lockheed Corporation's motion for summary judgment, filed February 3, 1997.

 BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff, Maureen Evans, filed this diversity action on May 3, 1995. Plaintiff alleges that she suffered personal injuries during the course of her employment at the New York Telephone Company from the period beginning June 10, 1991 until the time of the filing of the complaint. Plaintiff's position required her to utilize an Ontel Keyboard Model OP-1/15, manufactured by Key Tronic Corporation and distributed by Lockheed Corporation. Plaintiff contends that the use of the computer keyboard in question caused her to suffer a cumulative trauma injury.

 On January 27, 1997, White Pine Software, Visual T.I., Inc., Ontel Corporation, and Visual Technology Incorporation filed a motion for summary judgment against Plaintiff on the ground that Plaintiff's claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations, along with a supporting memorandum of law. Key Tronic and Lockheed filed similar motions and memoranda on January 29, 1997 and February 3, 1997, respectively. Plaintiff filed an affidavit in opposition to Defendants' motions on February 21, 1997. White Pine Software, Ontel Corp., Visual T.I., Inc., and Visual Technology Incorporation filed a reply brief and a reply affidavit in support of its motion on February 27, 1997. No oral argument was deemed necessary.

 For the reasons as set forth below, Defendants' motions for summary judgment should be DENIED.

 FACTS

 Maureen Evans began working at the New York Telephone Company in Buffalo, New York on June 10, 1991. Evans was employed as a directory assistance operator, working approximately five days per week, six and one-half hours per day. Evans' job duties included inputting and retrieving information from a computer system, utilizing an Ontel keyboard, manufactured by Key Tronic, and distributed by Lockheed.

 Evans initially sought medical treatment for injuries to her right hand in December, 1992. Evans ultimately filed a written accident report with the New York Telephone Company relating to her right hand in December, 1992, and an accident report relating to her left hand in March, 1995. Evans was diagnosed with bilateral carpel tunnal syndrome in December, 1992. From December, 1992 through April, 1995, Evans received four injections of Depo-Medrol for pain, and also utilized right wrist splints. Evans has continued to work since her diagnosis.

 DISCUSSION

 Defendants have moved for summary judgment on the ground that Plaintiff's claims are barred by the statute of limitations. Defendants contend that as Plaintiff's first contact with the computer keyboard at issue in this lawsuit was on June 10, 1991, almost four years prior to the filing of this complaint in May, 1995, Plaintiff's claims must be dismissed as the complaint was not filed within three years of her first contact with the keyboard. Plaintiff asserts, however, that the statute of limitations period did not begin to run until Plaintiff began to experience symptoms of her injuries in ...


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