JUST PLEADING AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE WON'T DEFEAT SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Matkin v. American Express Centurion Bank
Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-17-01438-CV (November 7, 2018)
Justices Bridges, Francis (Opinion linked here), and Lang-Miers



In this brief opinion, the Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for American Express despite the cardholder's affirmative defense of limitations.  In doing so, the Court reminded us of a couple of fundamental rules:


  •  "A plaintiff is under no initial obligation to negate affirmative defenses when moving for summary judgment and the mere pleading of an affirmative defense will not prevent summary judgment in favor of a plaintiff who establishes an absence of fact issues on his own claim for relief"; and

  • The four-year statute of limitations for breach of contract based on credit-card debt begins to run "on the date the last payment on the account is made."

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