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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Janice L. Park v. Jessica J. Spayd (5/20/2022) sp-7594

Janice L. Park v. Jessica J. Spayd (5/20/2022) sp-7594

          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,  

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                      THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA                                   

JANICE  L.  PARK,                                                  )  

                                                                   )   Supreme  Court  No.  S-17743  

                               Appellant,                          )  


                                                                   )   Superior Court No. 3AN-19-09443 CI  

          v.                                                       )  


                                                                   )   O P I N I O N  


JESSICA J. SPAYD,                                                  )  


                                                                   )  No. 7594 - May 20, 2022  

                               Appellee.                           )  




                     Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third  


                     Judicial District, Anchorage, Peter R. Ramgren, Judge.  


                     Appearances:  Janice L. Park, pro se, Anchorage, Appellant.  


                     Steven  M.  Wells,  Steven  M.  Wells,  P.C., Anchorage,  for  



                     Before:           Winfree,         Chief       Justice,       Maassen,          Carney,  


                     Borghesan, and Henderson, Justices.  


                     BORGHESAN, Justice.  



                     In 2019awoman sued her former husband's medicalprovider, alleging that  


from 2003 to 2010 the provider negligently prescribed the man opioid medications,  


leading to his addiction, damage to the couple's business and marital estate, the couple's  


divorce in 2011, and ultimately the man's death in 2017.  The superior court ruled the  


claims were barred by the statute of limitations and rejected the woman's argument that  


the provider should be estopped from relying on a limitations defense.   Because the  

----------------------- Page 2-----------------------

undisputed evidence shows that by 2010 the woman had knowledge of her alleged                                                                                                                                                                  

injuries, the provider's alleged role in causing those injuries, and the provider's alleged                                                                                                                                                      

negligence, we conclude that the claims accrued at that time and were no longer timely                                                                                                                                                             

when filed in 2019.                                          And because the record does not show that the woman's failure to                                                                                                                                    

timely file her claims stemmed from reasonable reliance on fraudulent conduct by the                                                                                                                                                                         

provider, we conclude that equitable estoppel does not apply.                                                                                                                                        We therefore affirm                           

summary judgment in the provider's favor.                                                                        

II.                 FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS                         


                                         Janice Park was married to Jalal Keith Husseini.                                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The couple initiated a  


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ),  with  

divorce in 2007, which was finalized in 2011 (after an appeal to this court 


Husseini owing Park a substantial sum.   Husseini died of a drug overdose in 2017,  


apparently without paying this debt to Park.  


                                         In October 2019 Park, representing herself, sued Jessica Spayd in superior  


court.  According to the complaint Spayd, a registered nurse, had recently been arrested  


by federal authorities for unlawfully distributing opioid medications.  Park alleged that  


Husseini  had  been  a  patient  of  Spayd's  and  that  beginning  in  2003  Spayd  had  


overprescribed opioid medications to Husseini, who became dependent on them.  Park  


alleged that by 2005 she was "distraught" over Husseini's dependence on opioids and  


that in 2007 she reported Spayd's prescription practices to authorities at the Alaska  


Department of Commerce's Board of Nursing.   Park alleged that "[a]s a direct and  

                     1                   Our discussion of negligence, injuries, and other alleged facts in this case                                                                                                                                     

are drawn solely from Park's allegations.                                                                                      Because the superior court resolved the case                                                                              

on summary judgment, we assume the truth of the facts alleged in Park's pleadings and                                                                                                                                                                      

affidavits for purposes of this appeal.                                                                            We note that Spayd expressly declined to admit     

any of those allegations as true.                                                 

                    2                   Husseini v. Husseini, 230 P.3d 682 (Alaska 2010).  


                                                                                                                               -2-                                                                                                                      7594

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proximate result of the emotional and physical addiction from which Husseini suffered,                                                                                                                                                                

he and Park fought over his addiction, ultimately ending the marriage"; further, the                                                                                                                                                        

"value of the marital estate diminished as the direct and proximate result of Husseini's                                                                                                                                                        

drug dependence and reliance upon Spayd for his supply."                                                                                                                                   The complaint alleged that                                                

 Spayd was liable under theories of negligence and professional malpractice for damages                                                                                                                                                               

including    medical    expenses;    "[l]ost    business   and    marital    property";    "[l]oss    of  

consortium[,] anxiety, fear, and other emotional distress;" and "[l]oss of [Park's] court[-]                                                                                                                                                              

ordered marital settlement."                       

                                           Spayd filed a motion for summary judgment asserting that the limitations                                                                                                                             

period for Park's claims had expired and that the case should be dismissed.                                                                                                                                                                                 Spayd  

argued that Park's claims were untimely under either the two-year limitations period                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                 3     or  the  six-year  period  applicable  to  certain  professional  

applicable   to   tort  claims                                                                                                                                                                                                           

malpractice claims.4                                                  Spayd invoked the "discovery rule," under which "the cause of  


action accrues when the plaintiff has information sufficient to alert a reasonable person  


                                                                                                                                                             5     Spayd maintained that Park herself  

to the fact that he has a potential cause of action."                                                                                                                                                                                                       


had alleged that by 2005 she was aware she was being harmed by Husseini's addiction  


and that by 2007 she had become suspicious enough of Spayd's prescribing practices to  


alert licensing authorities. Accordingly, Spayd argued, Park was on inquiry notice of her  


                     3                    AS 09.10.070(a).   



                                          Preblich v. Zorea, 996 P.2d 730, 733, 734 n.11 (Alaska 2000) (citing  


former AS 09.10.050 (1994)).  Spayd's reference to a six-year limitations period for  

malpractice   claims   was   incorrect.     Although   the   applicable   limitations   period  was  


formerly six years, it was shortened to three years in 1997.  AS 09.10.053; Christianson  


v. Conrad-Houston Ins., 318 P.3d 390, 396 (Alaska 2014); Preblich, 996 P.2d at 734  

n.11.   The superior court used the correct statutory period in its subsequent decision.                                                                                                                                                                                      

                     5                    Pedersen v. Zielski, 822 P.2d 903, 908 (Alaska 1991).  


                                                                                                                                    -3-                                                                                                                           7594

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potential cause of action by 2007, and the limitations period for her claims expired by       

 2013 at the latest - well before the complaint was filed in 2019.                                                                                      

                                   Park moved for a continuance under Alaska Civil Rule 56(f) to obtain                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                                               6   In support  

 additional discovery - specifically to obtain affidavits of expert witnesses.                                                                                                                            

 of this motion Park submitted an affidavit describing certain details about the timeline  


 of events.  She stated that when she complained to the Board of Nursing in 2007, the  


 Board took no action on her complaint.  Park did "not pursue the matter further" and at  


 that time "did not know the full extent of [Spayd's] malpractice."  But she said that after  


 a 2010 court order in connection with Park's divorce gave Park access to records of the  


business she had shared with Husseini, Park found Husseini's "extensive drug receipts  


 . . . and realized the full measure of [Spayd's] gross negligence."  The superior court  


 granted "a single extension of time" for Park to conduct discovery and file an opposition  


by January 3, 2020, but indicated that it did not see how the discovery Park sought would  


be relevant to the limitations issue.  


                                   Park then opposed summary judgment.  She submitted an affidavit setting  


 forth additional facts relevant to when the limitations period began to run.  Park stated  


 that she did not know she had a cause of action against Spayd until Spayd was arrested  


 in October 2019.  In regard to Park's complaint about Spayd to the Board of Nursing,  


 Park stated that the Board "told [Park] there was no basis for the complaint" and that she  


 "believed that ended the matter."  She further explained that she "did not consider filing  


                  6                Alaska R. Civ. P. 56(f) ("Should it appear from the affidavits of a party                                                                                                  

 opposing the motion that the party cannot for reasons stated present by affidavit facts                                                                                                  

 essential  to   justify   the   party's   opposition,   the   court   may   refuse   the   application   for  

judgment or may order a continuance to permit affidavits to be obtained or depositions                                                                                                          

 to be taken or discovery to be had or may make such other order as is just.").                                                                                                     

                                                                                                           -4-                                                                                                   7594

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a civil case until Spayd was arrested [in] 2019 for the same conduct of which [Park] had  


complained" and that she now believed the Board of Nursing's decision "was wrong."  


                    At a subsequent hearing, Park told the superior court that she had requested  


discovery from Spayd but had not received it; she asked the court to compel Spayd's  


response before ruling on summary judgment.  The superior court declined, stating that  


Park had not explained how discovery would be relevant to the limitations issue.  


                    On the day of oral argument Park filed another memorandum with the  


superior court.  Park raised the possibility that Spayd had provided false or misleading  


information to the Board of Nursing during its investigation undertaken in response to  


Park's complaint.  If so, Park argued, then the limitations period should be tolled or  


Spayd should be estopped from asserting a limitations defense. Park maintained that she  


was entitled to discovery of Spayd's correspondence with the Board to explore these  



                    At oral argument, Park again argued that the limitations period should be  


tolled until Spayd's arrest in October 2019. She also reiterated that discovery of Spayd's  


communications with the Board was needed to address the limitations defense.   The  


superior court stated on the record that it did not view Spayd's communications with the  


Board as relevant to the limitations issue.  


                    The superior court ruled that Park's claims were barred by the statute of  


limitations. The court first determined that Park's negligence claimwas subject to a two- 


year limitations period and that her malpractice claim was subject to a three-year period.  


The court accepted for purposes of summary judgment the truth of the allegations in  


Park's complaint and affidavits.  Nevertheless it agreed with Spayd's argument that, in  


light of Park's report to the Board of Nursing in 2007, Park's claims accrued at that time  

                                                               -5-                                                         7594

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because Park was aware then of all the elements of her malpractice and negligence                                                                                                                                                           

claims.   It therefore ruled that the limitations period expired in 2010.                                                                                                                             

                                          The court then rejected Park's argument that Spayd should be estopped                                                                                                                                    

from relying on the statute of limitations. The court acknowledged Park's assertion that                                                                                                                                                                            

the Board's inaction on Park's complaint against Spayd must have been the result of                                                                                                                                                                                     

 Spayd providing misleading information to the Board.                                                                                                                            But the court concluded that                                                      

"despite receiving an extension of time to obtain discovery," Park had not presented any                                                                                                                                                                            

evidence indicating fraudulent conduct that she had relied on in declining to file suit                                                                                                                                                                            



                                          Finally,thecourtrejected Park'sequitabletolling argument. Observingthat  


the limitations period may be tolled while a party pursues a separate legal remedy, the  


court reasoned that Park's complaint to the Board of Nursing did not toll the limitations  


period because the Board did not have authority to give Park any relief for her injuries.  


                                          Parkmoved for reconsideration. Sheargued that thecourt's rejection ofher  


equitable estoppel argument for lack of evidence overlooked that the court had allowed  


Park only a brief extension to obtain discovery and that Spayd had not responded to  


Park's discovery requests.  Park also argued that evidence of Spayd's dishonesty was  


described in an FBI agent's affidavit submitted in connection with Spayd's 2019 arrest,  


thus creating a dispute of material fact on the estoppel issue.  


                                          The superior court denied reconsideration. Regarding the discovery issue,  


the  court  ruled  that  Park  had  failed  to  show  that  she  "exercised  due  diligence  in  


attempting to uncover the concealed facts" or that further discovery would have yielded  


                     7                    Equitable estoppel requires "evidence of fraudulent conduct upon which                                                                                                                                            

 [the plaintiff] reasonably relied when forebearing from the suit."                                                                                                                                       Pedersen, 822 P.2d at                                           

908-09 (quoting                                     Gudenau & Co. v. Sweeney Ins.                                                                        , 736 P.2d 763, 769 (Alaska 1987)).                                                                                

                                                                                                                                    -6-                                                                                                                         7594

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material evidence.                         As to the FBI affidavit, the court observed that although it described                                                            

 egregious conduct by Spayd between 2014 and 2019, it contained no evidence of earlier                                                                                               

 fraudulent conduct on which Park might have reasonably relied in declining to bring suit.                                                                                                           

                              Park appeals.   

 III.           STANDARD OF REVIEW                        

                              We review de novo a grant of summary judgment and will affirm only if                                              

there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment                                                                                     


 as a matter of law.                                                                                                                                                   

                                                All reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the non-moving  



                   "[S]ummary judgment is appropriate only when no reasonable person could  



 discern a genuine factual dispute on a material issue." 


                               "[A] non-moving party does not need to prove anything to defeat summary  



judgment."                     However "a non-moving party cannot create a genuine issue of material  


 fact merely by offering admissible evidence - the offered evidence must not be too  


 conclusory,  too  speculative,  or  too  incredible  to  be  believed,  and  it  must  directly  



 contradict the moving party's evidence."                                                             "Any dispute [of fact] must not only be  


 genuine and material[] but [must also] arise from admissible evidence, such as affidavits  



recounting personal knowledge of specific facts." 

                8             Parker v. Tomera                         , 89 P.3d 761, 765 (Alaska 2004).

               9              Id.



                               Christensen v. Alaska Sales &Serv., Inc., 335 P.3d 514, 520 (Alaska 2014).

                11            Id.  at 516.   



                              Id. (emphasis omitted).  



                              Kaiser v. Sakata, 40 P.3d 800, 803 (Alaska 2002) (quoting Brady v. State,  


                                                                                               -7-                                                                                      7594

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          A.        Park's Claims Are Barred By The Applicable Limitations Statutes.  



                    A claim that is not filed within the applicable limitations period is barred. 


A personal injury claim, such as Park's negligence claim against Spayd, must be filed  

                                                                                    15  A professional malpractice  

within two years of the date on which the claim accrues. 


claim alleging economic harms, such as Park's malpractice claim alleging damage to her  



marital business and marital estate, must be filed within three years of the accrual date. 



                    A cause of action generally accrues at the time of injury.                              But under the  


discovery rule, the limitations period does not begin to run until the plaintiff discovers,  


or reasonably should have discovered, the existence of all essential elements of the cause  

              18  The elements of negligence and professional malpractice are duty, breach,  


of action. 

causation, and damages.19  


                                        "We look to the date when a reasonable person has enough  

          13        (...continued)  


965 P.2d 1, 8 (Alaska 1998)).  

          14        Miller  v.  Fowler,  424  P.3d  306,  311  (Alaska  2018).  

          15        AS  09.10.070(a)(2).  

          16        AS  09.10.053;   Christianson v.   Conrad-Houston  Ins.,  318  P.3d  390,  396  

(Alaska   2014)   ("Alaska   applies   a   three-year   statute   of   limitations   for   professional  


malpractice actions.").  

          17        Gefre v. Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, 306 P.3d 1264, 1274 (Alaska 2013).  


          18        Id. at 1274-75. The common-law discovery rule "developed as a means to  


mitigate the harshness that can result fromthe [accrual] rule's preclusion of claims where  


the injury provided insufficient notice of the cause of action to the plaintiff." Id. at 1274  


(alteration in original) (quoting Cameron v. State, 822 P.2d 1362, 1365 (Alaska 1991)).  


          19        Christianson, 318 P.3d at 398; Shooshanian v. Wagner, 672 P.2d 455, 464  



                                                              -8-                                                        7594

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information to alert that person that he or she has a potential cause of action or should                             


begin an inquiry to protect his or her rights."                                    

                       The date on which the limitations period begins to run depends on whether  


the plaintiff actually made an inquiry upon receiving information that should prompt the  


plaintiff  to  do  so.21                If  the  plaintiff  did  make  an  inquiry,  and  if  the  inquiry  was  


unproductive, the question becomes whether the inquiry was reasonable.22                                                               If it was  


reasonable, then the limitations period is tolled until the plaintiff receives either " 'actual  


knowledge of' the facts giving rise to the cause of action" or "new information which  


would prompt a reasonable person to inquire further."23  


                       The superior court's decision, as well as the parties' briefing and argument  


on appeal, focus on Park's complaint to the Board of Nursing in 2007.  Spayd maintains  


that by this point in time Park was aware of all the elements of her causes of action:  that  


she had been injured by Husseini's addiction to opiates and that Spayd's conduct was  


both  a  breach  of  the  professional  duty  of  care  and  the  cause  of  Park's  injuries.  


Accordingly, Spayd argues that Park's causes of action accrued in 2007 and were barred  


by 2010.   Park counters by arguing, essentially, that her complaint to the Board -  


resulting in the Board's decision not to take any action against Spayd - amounted to a  


            19         (...continued)  


(Alaska 1983).  

            20         Gefre, 306 P.3d at 1275 (quoting                         Mine Safety Appliances Co. v. Stiles                          , 756   

P.2d  288,  291  (Alaska   1988)).  

            21         See id.  


            22         Id.  

            23         Id.  (quoting  Cameron,  822  P.2d  at   1367).  

                                                                         -9-                                                                  7594

----------------------- Page 10-----------------------

reasonable yet unproductive inquiry that tolled the limitations period until Spayd's arrest                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

in 2019.  According to Park's affidavit, when the Board "told [her] there was no basis                                                                                                                                

for the complaint," she "believed that ended the matter."                                                                                                                                                      

                                                         The focus on what happened in 2007 is misplaced.                                                                                                                                                                               We assume without                                       

deciding  that   Park's   complaint   to   the   Board   of   Nursing   was   a   reasonable   yet  

unproductive inquiry that tolled the limitations period for her claims. Yet by Park's own                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

admission, in 2010 she received new information that would prompt a reasonable person                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

to inquire further.                         

                                                         In 2010 the superior court in the divorce case issued an order allowing Park                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

to access the records of the business she had run with Husseini during the marriage.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In  

an affidavit filed in support of a motion in this negligence case, Park stated:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       "I did not                    

find Mr. Husseini's extensive drug receipts until I was given a court order to access our                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

business   property   after  remand,   and   realized   the   full   measure   of   [Spayd's]   gross  

negligence." At the time Park is referring to in this statement, she was already aware that                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 she had suffered injury as a result of Husseini's addiction (damages) and that Spayd's   

prescription of opioid medications had contributed to Husseini's addiction (causation).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Park's subsequent admission - that she had become aware of Spayd's gross negligence                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

(duty and breach) - meant Park was on notice in 2010 of all the elements of her cause                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

of action against Spayd.                                                                               24  

                                                         Park argues that the cause of action did not accrue until 2018, the date of  


Husseini's death, because that is when she suffered the final injury:  Husseini would  


never be able to pay the judgment he owed in the divorce. In other words, Park contends  


that it was not until Husseini's death that she learned the full extent of her injuries.  




                                                         The elements of negligence and professional malpractice are duty, breach,  


causation, and damages.  Christianson, 318 P.3d at 398; Shooshanian, 672 P.2d at 464.  

                                                                                                                                                                                 -10-                                                                                                                                                                                           7594  

----------------------- Page 11-----------------------

                             But "under the discovery rule it is irrelevant if the full scope of injury is not                                                                           


known immediately."                                                                                                                                                          

                                                      In Sopko v. Dowell Schlumberger, Inc. we held that a plaintiff  


who was aware that he suffered some injury had "sufficient information to prompt an  


inquiry into his cause of action" even though the full extent of his injury was not known  

                                    26    The same is true of Park.  Park was well aware of the injuries to her  


until years later. 

marriage and finances prior to 2018.  Park's complaint alleged that she was "distraught  


over [Husseini's] drug dependence" in 2005; that "[a]s a direct and proximate result of  


the emotional and physical addiction from which Husseini suffered, he and Park fought  


over his addiction, ultimately ending the marriage"; that "[t]heir business was failing  


because Husseini did not work"; and that "[t]hroughout the pendency of the divorce the  


value of the marital estate diminished as the direct and proximate result of Husseini's  


drug dependence." Park and Husseini began divorce proceedings in 2007; their divorce  


was finalized in 2011.  Although Park did not know that Husseini would ultimately die  


of a drug overdose and fail to pay Park her share of the marital estate, Park was well  


aware, even before the divorce was finalized in 2011, that she had been injured by  


Husseini's addiction.  


                             By 2010 Park  was  also aware that Spayd had a role in that addiction  


through what Park describes as grossly negligent prescriptions.  Park was on notice of  


all the elements of her negligence and malpractice claims against Spayd. The limitations  


periods for these claims therefore began to run in 2010 and expired in 2012 and 2013  


               25            Sopko v. Dowell Schlumberger, Inc.                                               , 21 P.3d 1265, 1272 (Alaska 2001).                                                

               26            Id.  at 1271-72 (rejecting worker's argument that cause of action did not                                                                                  

accrue until he was diagnosed with permanent injury five years after exposure to toxic                                                                                              

chemicals whenworkerexperiencedphysicalsymptomsimmediatelyfollowing exposure  


and was diagnosed with "toxic fume exposure" by physician days later).                                                                             

                                                                                           -11-                                                                                     7594

----------------------- Page 12-----------------------

respectively.   Because Park did not file suit against Spayd until 2019, her claims are                                                                                                            


                B.	            Park's Equitable Defenses To The Statute Of Limitations Do Not Save                                                                                             

                               Her Claims.                     

                               Park argues that Spayd should be equitably estopped from raising a statute                                                                                

of limitations defense to Park's claims. To establish equitable estoppel, "a plaintiff must                                                                                                    

produce   evidence   of   fraudulent   conduct   upon   which   [she]   reasonably   relied   when  

forbearing  from  suit."27  


                                                                 "The  fraudulent  conduct  may  be  either  an  affirmative  



misrepresentation[] or a failure to disclose facts [when] there is a duty to do so." 


asserts that Spayd must have made fraudulent representations to the Board of Nursing  


in 2007, leading the Board to take no action on Park's complaint, which in turn caused  


Park not to file suit. Park further asserts that the superior court erred by faulting Park for  


not presenting evidence of Spayd's mispresentations even though the court declined to  


order Spayd to respond to Park's discovery requests.  


                               The   focus   on   the   Board   of   Nursing's   investigation   -   and   any  


misrepresentations Spayd may have made during that process - is again misplaced.  


Park stated that she realized Spayd's negligence upon seeing Husseini's prescription  


receipts in 2010. Even if it was reasonable for Park to view the Board's inaction against  


Spayd as an indication that Spayd had not been negligent, it was not reasonable for Park  


to continue relying on the Board's inaction once she independently realized in 2010 that  


Spayd had been grossly negligent.  Therefore Park cannot establish that she reasonably  

                27             Gudenau & Co. v. Sweeney Ins.                                             , 736 P.2d 763, 768 (Alaska 1987).                                 

                28              Waage v. Cutter Biological Div. of Miles Lab'ys, Inc.                                                                   , 926 P.2d 1145, 1149                  


(Alaska 1996).  

                                                                                                -12-	                                                                                         7594

----------------------- Page 13-----------------------

 relied on false statements Spayd may have made to the Board of Nursing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   29  Equitable  

  estoppel does not apply.                                                                                                

                                                                                             In her reply brief, Park raises for the first time the issue of equitable tolling,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 which the superior court ruled did not apply.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Because Park failed to address equitable                                                                                                                                                                                 

                                               29                                            For this reason, Park's assertion that the superior court erred by not giving                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 her more time to conduct discovery and by not compelling discovery into Spayd's                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  communications with the Board of Nursing, even if true, does not affect the outcome of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  this case.                                                      Even if discovery showed that Spayd had lied to the Board, Park could not                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  show that she reasonably relied on those misrepresentations in light of her independent                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

  discovery of Spayd's negligence.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                            Nevertheless, we are troubled by the suggestion in the superior court's                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

  order that Park was somehow responsible for not producing evidence in support of her                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

  equitable estoppel argument.                                                                                                                                                                               Park sought and received a short extension to pursue                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  discovery. After this extension of time had expired, Park told the superior court that she                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 had not received the discovery she needed and asked the court to compel it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The court   

  denied the request, stating that Park had not adequately explained                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the relevance of                                                                               

  discovery to the limitations issue. When Park explained at oral argument why discovery                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  into Spayd's communications with the Board could be relevant to the estoppel issue, the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  court disagreed, stating this evidence would not be relevant.  Yet the court's summary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

judgment order implicitly conceded the potential relevance of this discovery by faulting                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

  Park for "not provid[ing] this court with any facts suggesting the existence of fraudulent                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  conduct upon which she relied when refraining from filing suit."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                            We emphasize that superior courts should hold "self-represented litigants                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

   .   .   .   to   a   less   demanding   procedural   standard,"   and   take   a   "lenient   approach"   in  

  construing their motions.                                                                                                                                                      Daggett v. Feeney                                                                                                                        , 397 P.3d 297, 304 n.19 (Alaska 2017)                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  (quoting   Mitchell   v.   Mitchell,   370   P.3d   1070,   1083   (Alaska   2016));   Regina  C.  v.  

 Michael C.                                                                  , 440 P.3d 199, 205 n.25 (Alaska 2019) (quoting                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sengupta v. Univ. of Alaska                                                                                                                                                                 ,  

   139 P.3d 572, 581 (Alaska 2006)).                                                                                                                                                                                                             Although true that Park did not adequately explain                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

  the relevance of discovery in her initial motion to compel, she ultimately did explain its                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 relevance.   It was therefore problematic for the court to reject Park's estoppel argument                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

  for lack of evidence after having denied her request to obtain evidence on this point. But                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

  as we explained above, any error is harmless because of Park's independent discovery                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  of Spayd's negligence in 2010.                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           -13-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               7594

----------------------- Page 14-----------------------


tolling in her opening brief, the argument is waived.                                                                     Yet even if the issue had been                             

preserved, equitable tolling would not make Park's claims timely.                                                                                  

                              Equitable tolling applies "when a plaintiff has multiple legal remedies                                                                      

available to [her]. Courts will not force a plaintiff to simultaneously pursue two separate                                                                                  

                                                           31    Accordingly the limitations period for the second remedy  

and duplicative remedies."                                                                                                                                                     

is tolled while the plaintiff pursues the first remedy.  


                             We have held that when litigation as to the first remedy terminates, a new  


limitations period begins to run for the remaining remedy.32                                                                             Park filed her complaint  


with the Board of Nursing in 2007.  Although the record does not disclose precisely  


when the Board informed Park that it was closing its investigation, Park indicated that  


the investigation was closed before her divorce was finalized in 2011.  Even assuming  


                                                       33  a new three-year limitations period would have begun to run  

equitable tolling applied,                                                                                                                                                              


               30            See, e.g.          ,  Eberhart v. Alaska Pub. Offs. Comm'n                                                    , 426 P.3d 890, 894-95              

(Alaska 2018) (declining to consider issue raised for the first time in reply brief).                                                                                 

               31            Solomon v. Interior Reg'l Hous. Auth., 140 P.3d 882, 884 (Alaska 2006)  


(quoting Gudenau & Co., 736 P.2d at 769).  


               32            Id. at 885-86 (noting that "we have uniformly applied a new full statutory  


period in equitable tolling cases," although declining to decide "whether a plaintiff will  


always have the full statutory limitations period in which to file once the circumstances  


that justify equitable tolling abate").  


               33            Id. at 884 ("[T]he statute of limitations is tolled only for those who initially  


pursuetheir rights in ajudicialorquasi-judicialgovernmental forum."(quoting Gudenau  


& Co., 736 P.2d at 768)).  


                                                                                           -14-                                                                                     7594

----------------------- Page 15-----------------------

once the Board's investigation closed, expiring well before Park filed suit in 2019.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


Thereforeneither equitable estoppel nor equitabletolling saves                                                                                                                                                                                          Park's untimelyclaims.                                                                                  

V.                         CONCLUSION  


                                                      The judgment of the superior court is AFFIRMED.  

                           34                         Park's brief requests that we "[d]ismiss" the superior court's order on                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

attorney's fees.                                               Yet she did not appeal the superior court's award of attorney's fees and                                                                                                                                                                                                      

does not present any argument for why the award is erroneous.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Any challenge to the                                                        

award of attorney's fees is therefore waived.                                                                                                      

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