Filing Error Causes Medical Malpractice Complaint to Be Dismissed

The Idaho Supreme Court recently released an opinion affirming the dismissal of a plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim against a doctor who had not been included in the plaintiff’s lawsuit until after the statute of limitations had expired. The plaintiff’s contention that the court should have used a different date to determine if the claim had been timely filed was rejected by the appellate court, and as a result the plaintiff will be unable to collect any damages for the doctor’s alleged malpractice.

DoctorThe Plaintiff Suffered a Stroke as a Result of Complications During a Surgery Performed by the Defendant

The plaintiff in the case of English v. Taylor was a woman who suffered injuries from a stroke after having a surgery performed by the defendant in September 2011. In the lawsuit leading up to this appeal, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant committed medical malpractice in performing the surgery, causing her stroke and resulting injuries. In September 2013, which was within the two-year statute of limitations for such claims, the plaintiff filed a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of a device that was used in the surgery. The plaintiff later obtained permission from the court to amend her complaint to allege medical malpractice and add the doctor as a defendant in the case, although the amended complaint was not filed or served on the defendant until after the two-year statute of limitations had expired.

The Plaintiff’s Case Is Dismissed for Failing to File Before the Limitations Period Expired

After the amended complaint was filed, and the defendant was served, the defendant asked the court to dismiss the case based on the plaintiff’s failure to file the claim within the two-year limitations period. The plaintiff claimed that the court should consider the date of filing as the date she first amended her claim to add the defendant, an argument that was rejected by the district court.

On appeal, the state high court agreed with the district court and found that the plaintiff’s claim against the defendant was not filed within the deadline. The court distinguished adding new claims against a defendant from claims that add entirely new defendants to a case. Since the defendant here was never given notice of the case against him until after the limitations period had expired, the court could not accept the plaintiff’s argument that the earlier date should be used to find her filings within the deadline.

The Statute of Limitations for South Florida Medical Malpractice Claims

Florida Statutes, Section 95.11(4)(b) requires a medical malpractice claim to be filed within two years from the date the plaintiff discovered the act of medical malpractice. In some cases, this period may be extended for up to seven years if there is some act of fraud committed by the defendant that made the plaintiff unable to discover the medical malpractice sooner. Other factors may also extend, or “toll,” the statute of limitations for a short period.

South Florida medical malpractice victims may be able to successfully pursue a medical malpractice claim beyond the two-year statute of limitations, but the chances of compensation are usually greater when a claim is filed as early as possible.

Should You or a Loved One Contact an Attorney?

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice or negligence, the South Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank can help build your case for the compensation you deserve. Medical professionals should be held accountable for their avoidable mistakes, and our Miami malpractice lawyers are familiar with the deadlines and other procedural requirements that must be followed for a plaintiff to recover damages for their claim. At Friedman, Rodman & Frank, we accept clients in medical malpractice cases in Miami and the surrounding region. Contact us and schedule a free consultation. Call toll-free at 877-448-8585 or use our web-based form to schedule a meeting with a skilled attorney to evaluate your case.

More Blog Posts:

Court Permits Wrongful Death Claim to Proceed after Personal Injury Judgment Had Been Awarded Based on Defendant’s Same Negligent Conduct, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published August 4, 2016.

Blatant Surgical Errors Remain Startlingly Common Despite Technological Advances in Medicine, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published August 18, 2016.

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