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Men Lose Bid to Join Suit Over Fatal Hotel Shooting

(CN) - A pair of Wisconsin men cannot "piggyback" onto a woman's lawsuit against a hotel stemming from a fatal shooting there in 2004, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled.

Gregg Phillips killed two people and injured two others when he went on a shooting spree in the middle of the night at the Comfort Suites Hotel in Oak Creek.

Stephanie Davey, whom Phillips shot that night, sued WISCO Hotel Group for negligence and violation of the safe place statute.

Four months later, Davey amended her complaint to include two other plaintiffs, Douglas Barnes and Jeffrey McCarthy. Phillips shot Barnes and held McCarthy hostage.

The trial court granted WISCO's motion to dismiss the two men and the Wisconsin Department of Justice as plaintiffs because they were added to the lawsuit after the statute of limitations had expired.

McCarthy and Barnes argued that they should be parties to the suit because their claims "relate back" to Davey's original complaint.

On appeal, Judge Brennan ruled that the trial court did not abuse its discretion.

"Allowing Barnes and McCarthy to subvert the statute of limitations by simply amending Davey's complaint clearly infringes on, and runs contrary to, the public policies supporting the statute of limitations."

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