Equitable tolling is a legal principle that evolved from the common law of equity. Equitable tolling states that the statute of limitations will not bar a claim if the plaintiff, despite reasonable care and diligent efforts, did not discover the injury until after the limitations period expired. A legal doctrine under which the failure of one party to meet a deadline may be excused because they were prevented from doing so by circumstances outside their control.
The doctrine of equitable tolling means only that the running of the statue is suspended, not that the limitations period begins over again. Thus, even if the limitations period were suspended during the pendency of the initial suit, it would have resumed after the first suit was dismissed. Equitable tolling also means that a person is not required to sue within the statutory period if he cannot in the circumstances reasonably be expected to do so.
In other words, equitable tolling is only triggered by some affirmative conduct on the part of the defendant after initial wrongdoing- the mere failure to disclose the wrongdoing is insufficient.
Although grounds for trolling the statute of limitations vary by jurisdiction, common grounds include:
Tolling may occur under a statute that specially provides for the tolling of the statute of limitations during specified circumstances. It may also take the form of equitable tolling, where the court applies common law principles of equity to extend the time for the filing of a document. A plaintiff may raise equitable tolling in opposition to a statute of limitations defence. But, for equitable tolling to apply, there must be some conduct on the part of the defendant after the initial wrongdoing: mere silence or the failure to disclose the wrongdoing is insufficient. The plaintiff has the burden of showing that subsequent and specific action by the defendant somehow prevented the commencement of the action promptly.
Eggshell skull rule is a principle of the law of torts that a defendant is liable for a plaintiff's unforeseeable and uncommon reactions to the defendant's negligent or intentional act.