Under New York law, even if a person harmed by negligent medical care has a legitimate claim for damages, procedural errors may prevent the person from recovering compensation. For example, it is imperative that any medical malpractice claim is filed within two and a half years of the alleged date of harm; otherwise, it may be deemed untimely and dismissed. There are some exceptions to the general rule, though, such as when claims are permitted under the relation-back doctrine. Recently, a New York opinion discussed what a plaintiff must prove to show that the relation-back doctrine applies in a case arising out of primary care malpractice. If you were hurt due to negligent treatment in a primary care setting, you should confer with a diligent Rochester primary care malpractice attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Procedural History of the Case
It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent treated with the defendant primary care physicians over a span of four days leading up to her death. After the plaintiff’s decedent’s untimely demise, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit, alleging the defendants’ medical malpractice led to the decedent’s death. The facility that employed the defendants at the time of the alleged harm accepted service on behalf of one of the defendants but not the other, as he was no longer employed there.
It is alleged that during the course of discovery, the plaintiff’s attorney realized he named the incorrect individual defendants. He then moved to discontinue the claims against the defendants and name the facility where they worked as defendants. As the statute of limitations had passed, he argued that the relation-back doctrine applied. The court denied his motion, and he appealed.