The personal representative of a decedent was not required to give personal notice of the deadline for filing claims against the estate to a claimant, as required by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-14-1, where she did not have actual knowledge of the claim. The Court also determined that she had no obligation to conduct an investigation to determine whether there was a potential claim. The Plaintiff therefore had not properly presented its claim as required by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-19-3(a).
The Court also dealt with a statute of limitations issue: whether the three year statute for breach of contract or the ten year statute for a contract signed under seal should apply. The Court found this to be a question of law as to the defendant who had passed away, who had not signed the agreement in question, but a question for the jury as to other defendants, who had. It determined that the deceased defendant could not be bound by the sealed signatures of others on the basis that he was a member of a joint venture and that he had therefore adopted the signatures of the others as his own.