law-fraudulent concealment | tolling of statute of limitations | tolling theories | counter defenses to
statute of limitations defense |
Fraudulent Concealment | Tolling | Discovery Rule |
Fraudulent concealment is an equitable doctrine that provides a defense to the bar of
limitations, and limitations are not at issue here in the trial. See Mitchell Energy Corp. v.
Bartlett, 958 S.W.2d 430, 439 (Tex.App.-Fort Worth 1997, pet. denied); Santanna
Natural Gas Corp. v. Hamon Operating Co., 954 S.W.2d 885, 890 (Tex.App.-Austin
1997, pet. denied).
A defendant's fraudulent concealment of wrongdoing may toll the running of limitations. Shah v.
Moss, 67 S.W.3d 836, 841 (Tex. 2001). Fraudulent concealment will not, however, bar limitations
when the plaintiff discovers the wrong or could have discovered it through the exercise of
reasonable diligence. Id.; Velsicol Chem. Corp. v. Winograd, 956 S.W.2d 529, 531 (Tex. 1997);
Nichols v. Smith, 507 S.W.2d 518, 519 (Tex. 1974). In HECI Exploration Co. v. Neel, oil and gas
royalty owners sued their lessee for failing to advise them of the lessee's successful suit against
an adjoining operator for damages to the common field. 982 S.W.2d 881 (Tex. 1998).
Source: Kerlin v. Sauceda, No. 05-0653 (Tex. Aug. 29, 2008)(O'Neill) (oil and gas royalties,
claims time-barred, out-of-state defendant, long-arm statute, fraudulent concealment claim)