Estate of Pepper v. Whitehead

This case involved a dispute over the rights to an extensive collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia. The collection was amassed by Sterling Gary Pepper, Jr. (Gary), who suffered from cerebral palsy and was cared for by his mother, Nell Pepper. Gary and Nell died in 1980 and 1982, respectively. A friend of Gary's and Nell's (Nancy) gave the collection to her sister, who sold it at an auction in 2009. Gary's and Nell's estates (the Estates) filed a complaint against Nancy and the partnership formed to transfer the collection, bringing claims for, inter alia, conversion by a bailee. Defendants filed a counterclaim for recovery of the value of preserving the collection. The district court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment on all claims, concluding that the statute of limitations for the Estates' claims had expired. At issue on appeal was whether Iowa's discovery rule applied, which tolls the statute of limitations until the plaintiff has discovered the injury or should have discovered it. The Eighth Circuit reversed with respect to the conversion claim, holding that conflicting inferences created genuine issues of material fact concerning whether the Estates should have been on inquiry notice whether the collection had been converted by Defendants. View "Estate of Pepper v. Whitehead" on Justia Law