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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. John's Heating Service v. Lamb (02/24/2006) sp-5992

John's Heating Service v. Lamb (02/24/2006) sp-5992, 129 P3d 919

     Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction  before
     publication  in  the  Pacific  Reporter.   Readers  are
     requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk
     of  the  Appellate  Courts, 303  K  Street,  Anchorage,
     Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878,
     e-mail corrections@appellate.courts.state.ak.us.


            THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA


JOHNS HEATING SERVICE, )
) Supreme Court No. S- 11228
Appellant, )
) Superior Court No. 3KO-93-553 CI
v. )
) O P I N I O N
MICHAEL A. LAMB and CYNTHIA )
E. JOHNSON-LAMB, ) No. 5992 - February 24, 2006
)
Appellees. )
)

          Appeal  from the Superior Court of the  State
          of  Alaska, Third Judicial District,  Kodiak,
          John J. Reese, Judge.

          Appearances:   Michael  D.  Corey,  Sandberg,
          Wuestenfeld    &   Corey,   Anchorage,    for
          Appellant.  Sarah J. Tugman, Sarah J. Tugman,
          Attorney at Law, Anchorage, for Appellees.

          Before:   Bryner,  Chief  Justice,  Matthews,
          Eastaugh, Fabe, and Carpeneti, Justices.

          EASTAUGH, Justice.

I.   INTRODUCTION
          The  Lambs sued Johns Heating Service in December 1993,
alleging that it failed to repair their furnace during an October
1991  service call or warn them of the dangers it posed,  causing
them  to suffer carbon monoxide poisoning.  A jury found for  the
Lambs,  but  in  Johns  Heatings first  appeal  we  remanded  for
application of the discovery rule to determine whether  the  two-
year  statute  of  limitations barred  the  Lambs  claims.1   The
superior  court concluded on remand that the lawsuit was  timely.
Johns   Heating  appeals  from  that  conclusion.    We   affirm.
          Undisputed findings of fact on remand establish that before early
1993  the  Lambs did not know and were not on notice  that  their
furnace might be a cause of their symptoms of impairment.   Given
those  findings, it cannot be said that the Lambs were on inquiry
notice  before early 1993.  Because they had at least  two  years
after  early  1993  in  which to file suit, their  December  1993
complaint was timely.
II.  FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
          This  is  the  second  time  we  have  considered   the
timeliness  of  the lawsuit brought by Michael Lamb  and  Cynthia
Johnson-Lamb  against  Johns  Heating  Service.2   Many  of   the
historical facts are set out in our first opinion and  some  were
presented to the superior court on remand.
          The Lambs moved into a house in Kodiak in August 1991.3
On October 15 they called Johns Heating to inspect their furnace,
and  on  the  same  day  Johns  Heating  sent  Tim  Galloway   to
investigate the problem.4  The Lambs allegedly told Galloway that
the  furnace was not functioning properly, that it seemed  to  be
circulating  soot  throughout  the  house,  and  that  they  were
concerned  about  the  persistent smell of fuel  in  the  house.5
Galloway  leveled  the fuel tank and relit the furnace,  but  did
nothing more.6  The Lambs began to suffer physical ailments  from
what  their complaint later alleged was carbon monoxide poisoning
caused by the furnace.7  The Lambs continued to live in the house
and  use the furnace until January 31, 1993, when John Cloudy,  a
furnace  repairman  for  another service company,   responded  to
Cynthia  Lambs  call after the furnace started making  a  racket.
After  inspecting  the furnace, Cloudy told the  Lambs  that  the
furnace  was probably circulating carbon monoxide throughout  the
house,  and that the situation could be dangerous.8  He suggested
that  their problems might be related to carbon monoxide and that
they should see a doctor.
          The Lambs promptly replaced their furnace but continued
to  suffer problems that they later attributed to chronic  carbon
monoxide  exposure.9   They  hired  a  lawyer  and  in  March  an
investigator photographed the furnace for them; they  shipped  it
to an out-of-state expert.  They were seen by a neurologist and a
neuropsychologist  in Anchorage in March.  The resulting  reports
arguably   found   some  mental  impairment   but   were   either
inconclusive  about  whether exposure to carbon  monoxide  was  a
cause of any impairment, or expressed no firm conclusion on  that
topic and suggested more testing.
          In   mid-November   1993  a  Georgia  neuropsychologist
recommended  more tests because he thought the March examinations
strongly  indicated carbon monoxide inhalation  for  both  Lambs.
The  Anchorage  neuropsychologist performed more  tests  in  late
November,  including those the Georgia expert recommended.   Upon
review of the new test results, the Georgia expert, by letter  of
December  10,  expressed his opinion that the test  results  show
clear  and convincing signs of neurocognitive and neurobehavioral
impairment as a consequence of carbon monoxide exposure.
          The  Lambs  filed suit against a number of  defendants,
including  Johns Heating, on December 23, 1993.10   They  claimed
that Johns Heating negligently failed to repair their furnace  or
          warn them of its dangerous condition.11  Johns Heating raised a
statute of limitations defense, which the trial court rejected by
entering partial summary judgment for the Lambs and against Johns
Heating.12
          Trial  followed.  The jury returned a verdict  for  the
Lambs.  Johns Heating appealed, raising various issues, including
the  statute  of limitations issue.13  Because we concluded  that
there  was an unresolved, disputed issue of fact as to  when  the
statute of limitations began to run, we vacated the Lambs partial
summary judgment on the statute of limitations issue and remanded
for  further proceedings.14  We stated that the earliest possible
inquiry  notice  date  for  accrual of the cause  of  action  was
October  15, 1991 (when Galloway made his service call) and  that
the latest possible actual notice date was January 31, 1993 (when
Cloudy  told  them  the furnace was probably  circulating  carbon
monoxide).15
          On  remand, the superior court conducted an evidentiary
hearing  and held that the suit was timely.  Its order  contained
these findings of fact:
                     The  Lambs  injuries were  latent.
          They  evolved over a period of  time,  as  is
          characteristic   of  carbon   monoxide   (CO)
          poisoning.   At  some  point  they  were   on
          inquiry  notice  that there  was  a  problem.
          However,    they    were   unsuccessful    in
          discovering  the cause of their injury  until
          the spring of 1993.
          
               They did not connect their symptoms  and
          the  CO until Mr. Cloudy told them of CO risk
          in  January 1993, and their doctor, with that
          new  information,  said CO  could  cause  the
          otherwise unexplained symptoms.
          
               The  Lambs were on inquiry notice  about
          soot  problems from the furnace much earlier.
          However,  the key to this case is  the  brain
          injury from CO exposure.  That injury must be
          connected to the furnace for the elements  of
          the   tort   to  be  reasonably  known,   and
          therefore for the statute to run. This is not
          a case about a dirty house; it is about brain
          damage.
          
               The   Lambs  diligently  sought  medical
          advice  about their developing symptoms.   No
          question has been raised in that regard.  The
          ultimate  issue is whether it was  reasonable
          for  them not to have connected their  injury
          to the furnace.
          
The superior court also found that:
                              
               It  is  not  reasonable  to  expect  the
          Lambs,  in the early 1990s, to make a  causal
          connection between the irritations of  having
               an old and sooty furnace, and the mysterious
          symptoms  that evolved over a lengthy  period
          of  time.   They consulted doctors, they  had
          the  furnace checked, but there was no reason
          to  reasonably  suspect they were  connected.
          The  evidence  is clear that CO poisoning  in
          homes was not a well-understood issue in  the
          early 1990s.  Hindsight does not change this.
          
          Having made these findings, the court then stated:  The
Lambs were on inquiry notice more than two years before suit  was
filed  in  December 1993.  However, their inquiry was reasonable,
but unsuccessful until January of 1993.  The statute began to run
at  that  time,  and suit was filed well within  the  limitations
period.  The superior court did not determine the precise date of
inquiry notice.
          The  superior  court concluded that  [t]he  matter  was
brought within the statute of limitations.
          Johns Heating appeals.
III. DISCUSSION
     A.   Standard of Review
          We  review findings of fact under the clearly erroneous
standard.16  A finding is clearly erroneous if, after a review of
the  entire  record,  we  are  left  with  a  definite  and  firm
conviction that a mistake has been made.17  In reviewing  factual
findings, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the
prevailing party below.18
          This   court   applies  its  independent  judgment   in
reviewing a lower courts application of law to undisputed facts.19
     B.   The  Superior Court Did Not Err in Concluding that  the
          Lambs Complaint Was Timely.
          
          1.   Johns Heatings argument
               
          Johns   Heating   contends  that  the  superior   court
committed  legal  error on remand and that its findings  of  fact
establish  as a matter of law that the lawsuit is time-barred  by
the applicable two-year statute of limitations, AS 09.10.070(a).20
Johns  Heating  does  not  challenge  the  superior  courts  fact
findings establishing that the Lambs did not know before  January
1993 that the furnace might be responsible for their symptoms and
that  their prior inquiry was reasonable.  It instead advances  a
more  subtle and complex attack.  Relying on the superior  courts
statement that the Lambs were put on inquiry notice more than two
years before they filed suit,21 it reasons that our case law  and
remand  instructions  obliged  the superior  court  to  determine
whether  the  interval  between  January  1993  and  the   second
anniversary of the inquiry notice date allowed a reasonable  time
in  which  to  file  suit.  It asserts that  it  is  entitled  to
judgment  because  the superior court could  not  have  made  the
findings  that  would  have been necessary to  render  the  Lambs
complaint  timely.  Thus, Johns Heating reasons  that  the  court
would  have  been required to find that the Lambs had  reasonable
time  in  which  to sue between January 1993, when their  inquiry
became  successful,  and the second anniversary  of  the  inquiry
          notice date.  Although Johns Heating does not specify the date
when  it  thinks  the  Lambs  were  put  on  inquiry  notice,  it
necessarily  assumes  that  it was more  than  two  years  before
December 23, 1993, when the Lambs filed suit.
          Johns  Heating  derives  its multi-part  analysis  from
Cameron v. State22 and Johns Heating Services v. Lamb.23
          To  support its contention that the Lambs exceeded  the
reasonable time for filing suit, Johns Heating asserts that eight
and  one-half months (the interval between the January  31,  1993
revelation  and the second anniversary of Galloways  October  15,
1991 service call) left the Lambs plenty of time in which to sue.
It  refers  us  to a March 15, 1993 letter written by  the  Lambs
lawyer  notifying  a realty company that the  Lambs  intended  to
bring claims for exposure to carbon monoxide in the house.   From
this Johns Heating reasons both that the Lambs had the assistance
of  counsel months before the complaint was filed and that  their
lawyer  understood the instrument of harm.  It also asserts  that
the  Lambs bore the burden on the issue but failed to explain why
they did not file suit before December 23, 1993.
          2.   The discovery rule in Alaska
          Resolution of Johns Heatings contentions requires us to
apply our iteration of the discovery rule.  As we described  that
rule in Cameron and Johns Heating I, if an element of a cause  of
action is not immediately apparent, the discovery rule determines
when  the  statute of limitations begins to run.   Our  discovery
rule  also potentially determines whether, and for how long,  the
running  of  the  statute may be tolled.  It therefore  may  also
determine whether an action is timely even if suit was filed more
than  two years after the cause of action accrued and the statute
began running.  As we described it in Cameron, our discovery rule
provides that:
          (1)   a cause of action accrues when a person
          discovers,   or   reasonably   should    have
          discovered,  the  existence of  all  elements
          essential to the cause of action;
          (2)   a person reasonably should know of  his
          cause   of  action  when  he  has  sufficient
          information  to  prompt an inquiry  into  the
          cause  of  action,  if all of  the  essential
          elements   of   the  cause  of   action   may
          reasonably be discovered within the statutory
          period  at  a  point when a  reasonable  time
          remains within which to file suit.[24]
          
          Cameron  also enunciated a third part to the  discovery
rule.25  It

          comes  into  play  where  a  person  makes  a
          reasonable inquiry which does not reveal  the
          elements  of the cause of action  within  the
          statutory  period  at  a  point  where  there
          remains  a  reasonable time within  which  to
          file  suit.   In  those  circumstances,   the
          limitations   period  is   tolled   until   a
          reasonable person discovers actual  knowledge
          of,  or  would again be prompted  to  inquire
          into, the cause of action.[26]
          
          Johns  Heatings argument here hinges on the  assumption
that,  as  a result of the superior courts apparent determination
that  the Lambs were on inquiry notice before December 22,  1991,
the  two-year  statute of limitations had run  before  the  Lambs
filed  suit.  It also hinges on the contention that the  superior
court  did not make the requisite findings for applying the third
part  of  the discovery rule, and could not have done so.   Johns
Heating  concludes that because the third part of  the  discovery
rule  therefore did not apply, the two-year statutory limitations
period,  having been triggered by inquiry notice before  December
22, 1991, could not be extended to December 23, 1993.
          Johns  Heatings argument requires understanding of  our
remand instructions in Johns Heating I after we held that it  was
error  to  grant summary judgment to the Lambs on the statute  of
limitations issue.27  We reasoned that Johns Heating had created a
genuine  issue of material fact about whether the Lambs  were  on
          inquiry notice before December 22, 1991.28  We therefore remanded
and  instructed the superior court to first determine whether the
Lambs had sufficient information to alert a reasonable person  to
begin an inquiry before December 22, 1991.29  If so, the court was
to  determine  whether  the  third part  of  the  discovery  rule
applies.30  If the superior court were to find on remand both that
the Lambs had been on inquiry notice before December 22, 1991 and
that  the third part of the discovery rule did not apply to  toll
the statute of limitations, the statute would bar their claims.31
But  if  the  superior  court were to find  otherwise,  the  jury
verdict  and  award were to stand, subject to our  other  rulings
that are not at issue in the present appeal.32
          3.   The  findings of fact on remand establish that the
               Lambs  were  not  on inquiry notice  before  early
               1993;  their December 1993 complaint was therefore
               timely.
               
          Johns Heatings appellate arguments presuppose that  the
Lambs  were  on inquiry notice before December 22, 1991.   Alaska
Statute  09.10.070(a) gave them two years in which to  sue  after
their  cause  of action accrued.33  An unqualified  determination
that a plaintiff was on inquiry notice on a particular date would
normally  mean  that the applicable statute of limitations  began
running on that date.34
          The  Lambs respond that they were not on inquiry notice
before  December 22, 1991 and that Johns Heating is  mistaken  in
reading  the  superior courts ruling to have held that  they  had
inquiry  notice  sufficient to start the statute  running  before
December  22,  1991.  They assert that [a] review  of  the  trial
courts  entire order and its reasoning, and the specific  factual
findings,  illustrates that while the Lambs knew  at  that  point
that  their furnace burned dirty, they did not have the  kind  of
information which is sufficient to alert a reasonable  person  to
begin an inquiry to protect his rights. 35  They contend that  we
require,  or  should  require, that the  information  needed  for
inquiry  notice is knowledge of some appreciable  injury  and  at
least some idea of how it might have been caused.
          Johns Heating argues in reply that the Lambs are really
attempting  to challenge the superior courts factual  finding  on
remand  that  they  were on inquiry notice more  than  two  years
before  they filed suit.  It also asserts that they are bound  by
that  finding  of  fact  because they  have  not  cross-appealed,
because  the  finding is not clearly erroneous,  and  because  in
Johns  Heating I this court recognized that there was  a  genuine
issue of fact about whether the Lambs were on inquiry notice more
than two years before they sued.
          The   absence  of  a  cross-appeal  does  not   prevent
appellate consideration of the Lambs response.  The Lambs raise a
valid  issue  about exactly what the superior court  ruled.   And
even  if their appellate position required us to consider whether
the  superior court clearly erred, they seek an affirmance of the
judgment; they can properly argue that the superior court reached
the  right  result  for the wrong reason with respect  to  issues
litigated below.36
          Nor  did  we  say  anything in  Johns  Heating  I  that
forecloses  the  Lambs response.  We there  discussed  a  genuine
issue  of  fact  in  context of the summary  judgment  originally
entered  against  Johns  Heating on the  statute  of  limitations
issue,  and  remanded  so  the superior court  could  conduct  an
evidentiary  hearing on the issue before deciding the  timeliness
dispute.37  We did not prevent, or intend to prevent,  any  party
from  contending in a subsequent appeal that the superior  courts
remand findings on the issue were clearly erroneous.
          We  therefore  turn  to  the superior  courts  comments
regarding the inquiry notice issue.  The Lambs in essence contend
that  the  superior courts  determination that they had  been  on
inquiry notice of soot problems was not a determination that they
had  been on inquiry notice of a possible chronic carbon monoxide
exposure   claim.   That  reading  of  the  courts  decision   is
plausible.   The court stated that [a]t some point they  were  on
inquiry notice that there was a problem. . . .  The Lambs were on
inquiry notice about soot problems from the furnace much earlier.
(Emphasis  added.)   Because the Lambs moved into  the  house  in
August  1991,  and Tim Galloways visit was in October  1991,  the
court  appears to have been distinguishing between what it called
inquiry notice about soot problems and the sort of inquiry notice
that is legally significant.  The court added that [t]his is  not
a  case about a dirty house; it is a case about brain damage.  It
also   described   the   Lambs  diligence   in   inquiring,   the
reasonableness  of their inquiry, and their lack  of  success  in
discovering  a possible causal relationship before January  1993,
at  the  earliest.  Thus, when the court stated that [t]he  Lambs
were  on inquiry notice more than two years before suit was filed
in  December  1993,  the court may have been referring  to  their
notice  of cleanliness problems and their symptoms, not to notice
that  caused  the statute of limitations to begin running.   This
reading  is  also  consistent with the superior courts  statement
that  the two-year statute of limitations began to run in January
1993.   Had  the  court truly meant to rule that  inquiry  notice
predated December 22, 1991, it would have been incorrect to  have
concluded  that the statute first began to run in  January  1993.
Instead,  as Johns Heating contends, it would have been necessary
to decide whether the Lambs filed suit within a reasonable amount
of  time after they learned the elements of their claim (sometime
in 1993).38
          But even if the superior courts inquiry notice comments
are  read  as  Johns  Heating reads them,  they  do  not  justify
reversal  here.   There is no reason to think that  the  superior
courts  undisputed  findings of fact, quoted above  in  Part  II,
about  what  the Lambs did, the reasonableness of their  inquiry,
and  their  lack of success until January 1993 at  the  earliest,
were  clearly erroneous.39  Those findings of fact would  not  be
consistent with a legal conclusion that the Lambs were on inquiry
notice before December 22, 1991.  Those facts establish that  the
Lambs  did not, before January 1993,  have enough information  to
alert  them that they had a potential cause of action  for  their
symptoms.  Hence, the Lambs were put on inquiry notice  of  their
cause  of action no earlier than January 31, 1993.  And,  because
          the two-year statute of limitations did not begin to run until
they  were  put  on  inquiry  notice,  their  December  23,  1993
complaint was timely.
          Because the Lambs filed their complaint within the two-
year  period,  there  is  no reason to  consider  Johns  Heatings
argument  that  the  Lambs did not sue within a  reasonable  time
after  they discovered or should have discovered all the elements
of their cause of action.40
     C.   The  Lambs  Concededly Incorrect Attorneys Fees  Awards
          Require Correction.
          
          The  superior  court awarded the Lambs   the  attorneys
fees  proposed  by the Lambs counsel: $50,969.13 to  Michael  and
$57,587.02 to Cynthia.
          Although Johns Heating argues that any issue about  the
Lambs attorneys fees should be moot because it is entitled  to  a
favorable  judgment,  it  alternatively  contends  that   correct
application  of  Alaska Civil Rule 82 yields  attorneys  fees  of
$48,969.13  for Michael and $55,587.02 for Cynthia,  rather  than
the  amounts the court awarded.  The  Lambs lawyer concedes  that
she  erroneously calculated the fees under Rule  82,  and  agrees
with the corrections proposed by Johns Heating.
          We  therefore remand for the corrections Johns  Heating
proposes.   Michael  is entitled to an attorneys  fees  award  of
$48,969.13 and Cynthia is entitled to an attorneys fees award  of
$55,587.02.41
IV.  CONCLUSION
          For  these  reasons, we REMAND for  correction  of  the
attorneys fees awards, but otherwise AFFIRM the judgment below.
_______________________________
     1    Johns Heating Serv. v. Lamb, 46 P.3d 1024, 1033 (Alaska
2002) (Johns Heating I).

     2    Id.  In an earlier case, Brigdon v. Lamb, 929 P.2d 1274
(Alaska 1997), we considered the Lambs claims against the  owners
of the house in which the Lambs lived.

     3    Johns Heating I, 46 P.3d at 1028.

     4    Id.

     5    Id.

     6    Id. at 1029.

     7    Id.

     8    Id.

     9    Johns Heating I, 46 P.3d at 1029.

     10    Id.

     11    Id. at 1028.

     12    Id. at 1029.

     13    Id. at 1028.

     14    Id. at 1033, 1044.

     15    Johns Heating I, 46 P.3d at 1031 n.21.  A person is on
inquiry  notice when she has sufficient information to prompt  an
inquiry  into  the cause of action, if all the  elements  of  the
cause of action may reasonably be discovered within the statutory
period when a reasonable time remains within which to file  suit.
Cameron v. State, 822 P.2d 1362, 1365 (Alaska 1991).  A person on
inquiry  notice  is  deemed to have notice  of  all  facts  which
reasonable  inquiry  would disclose.  Id.  (quoting  Mine  Safety
Appliances Co. v. Stiles, 756 P.2d 288, 292 (Alaska 1988)).

     16    Peterson v. Ek, 93 P.3d 458, 463 (Alaska 2004).

     17    Id. (quoting Demoski v. New, 737 P.2d 780, 784 (Alaska
1987)).

     18     Rausch v. Devine, 80 P.3d 733, 737 (Alaska 2003).

     19     Alaska Travel Specialists, Inc. v. First Natl Bank of
Anchorage, 919 P.2d 759, 762 (Alaska 1996); State, Dept of  Corr.
v.  Welch, 805 P.2d 979, 982 (Alaska 1991) (holding that if facts
are  uncontroverted, the question whether a reasonable person was
on  inquiry notice can be resolved as matter of law) (citing Mine
Safety Appliances, 756 P.2d at 292).

     20     AS  09.10.070(a)  states that [e]xcept  as  otherwise
provided  by  law, a person may not bring an action  .  .  .  for
personal  injury  or death . . . unless the action  is  commenced
within two years of the accrual of the cause of action.

     21     The  superior court stated: The Lambs were on inquiry
notice  more  than  two years before suit was filed  in  December
1993.

     22    Cameron v. State, 822 P.2d 1362 (Alaska 1992).

     23    Johns Heating Serv. v. Lamb, 46 P.3d 1024 (Alaska 2002)
(Johns Heating I).

     24    Cameron, 822 P.2d at 1366; see also Johns Heating I, 46
P.3d at 1031.  We also explained the rule in Pedersen v. Zielski,
822  P.2d  903, 908 (Alaska 1991), a case in which the plaintiffs
inquiry  was not successful until after the two-year  statute  of
limitations had run.

     25    Cameron, 822 P.2d at 1367.

     26     Johns Heating I, 46 P.3d  at 1031-32 (emphasis added)
(quoting Cameron, 822 P.2d at 1367).

     27     Id.  at  1033.   Summary judgment is not  appropriate
unless  the party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law  and
unless  there  is no genuine issue of material fact.   Palmer  v.
Borg-Warner Corp., 818 P.2d 632, 634 (Alaska 1990).

     28    Johns Heating I, 46 P.3d at 1033.
          
     29     Id.   If the Lambs were put on inquiry notice  on  or
after  December 22, 1991, their December 23, 1993 personal injury
complaint   unquestionably  satisfied  the  applicable   two-year
statute of limitations.

     30    Johns Heating I, 46 P.3d at 1033.

     31    Id.

     32    Id.

     33    See id. at 1031.

     34    See Cameron, 822 P.2d at 1366.

     35    Johns Heating I, 46 P.3d at 1031.

     36     Dawson  v. Temanson, 107 P.3d 892, 896 (Alaska  2005)
(holding that appellees can properly argue alternative bases  for
trial court decision even if they did not cross-appeal).

     37    Johns Heating I, 46 P.3d at 1033.

     38     If  a reasonable inquiry is unsuccessful in revealing
the  elements at a point when there remains a reasonable time  in
which to sue, the limitations period is tolled until a reasonable
person  discovers actual knowledge of, or would again be prompted
to  inquire  into,  the cause of action. Id. at 1031-32  (quoting
Cameron, 822 P.2d at 1367).

     39     See Part II.  The superior court found that the Lambs
made  a  reasonable inquiry that was not successful until January
1993.   It  also found that it was not reasonable to  expect  the
Lambs  to discover the causal relationship between their old  and
sooty  furnace and their mysterious symptoms and that  they  were
unable   to  discover  this  relationship  despite  a  reasonable
inquiry.  The court also appears to have found that the Lambs did
not  have actual knowledge earlier than the spring of 1993,  that
they  might have suffered brain damage or that there might  be  a
connection  between  their  symptoms  and  exposure   to   carbon
monoxide.   Johns Heating does not dispute these  findings.   Nor
does  it contend that the Lambs inquiries before January 31, 1993
were unreasonable.

     40     Johns  Heating also asserts that the  superior  court
committed legal error in giving the Lambs two full years in which
to  file  suit after their inquiry became successful  in  January
1993.   This  claim of error presupposes that the Lambs  were  on
inquiry  notice for more than two years before they  filed  suit.
Our  holding that they were not makes it unnecessary to  consider
this claim of error.

     41    Johns Heating also argues that some documents contained
in  the  Lambs excerpts of record were not admitted into evidence
and  that the Lambs did not appeal from their exclusion.  We need
not  reach  this  argument, because we have not relied  on  those
documents in resolving this appeal.

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