People that suffer losses due to medical malpractice have the right to pursue claims against the healthcare providers responsible for their harm. They must file any claims within the applicable statute of limitations, though; otherwise, they might waive the right to recover damages. While the courts strictly construe statutes of limitations, when a cause of action begins to accrue will vary depending on the facts of the case. Recently, a New York court discussed the statute of limitations imposed on a plaintiff pursuing medical malpractice and wrongful death claims in a case in which the plaintiff sought reversal of the dismissal of her claims. If you suffered harm because of the negligence of a doctor, it is in your best interest to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to determine your possible claims.
Procedural Background of the Case
It is alleged that the decedent died of liver cancer in 2013. Prior to his death, he treated with the defendant primary care physician, the defendant oncologist, and the defendant radiologist. Slightly less than two years after the decedent’s death, the plaintiff commenced a lawsuit against the defendants, asserting wrongful death and medical malpractice claims. Following discovery, the defendants each moved for dismissal via summary judgment on the grounds that the claims against them were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The trial court granted the motions and the plaintiff appealed.
Statutes of Limitations for Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Claims
On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling as to the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims but reversed it with regard to the wrongful death claims. The court explained that pursuant to New York law, medical malpractice claims must be brought within two years and six months of the harmful act or omission, or if there is continuous treatment for an injury or illness, within two years and six months of the last treatment. Continue reading