Medical malpractice claims, like most causes of action, are subject to a statute of limitations. In other words, if a person injured by a reckless health care provider fails to pursue damages within the time permitted by the law, it may result in the waiver of the right to compensation. Recently, a New York court discussed the statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice claims against first responders. If you suffered harm due to the incompetence of a medical provider, you should consult a knowledgeable Rochester medical malpractice lawyer promptly to avoid waiving your right to recover damages.
History of the Case
It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent suffered from an acute medical issue that required emergency medical care. He was tended to by the defendant first responders, who transported her to the emergency room of the defendant hospital. The efforts at treatment were unsuccessful, and he ultimately died from complications related to his care. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging their negligence caused the decedent’s death. Following the completion of discovery, the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.
Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases in New York
On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling on the grounds that all of the plaintiff’s claims were time-barred. The court noted that her wrongful death claim was subject to a two-year statute of limitation, which expired prior to the filing of the complaint. Her medical malpractice claims, which were subject to a two-and-a-half-year statute of limitations, expired as well.
Further, the court noted that the plaintiff did not dispute that, to the extent, her claims arose out of the allegedly improper treatment rendered by the first responders, such care requires specialized knowledge and bears a significant relationship to the act of rendering medical treatment, and therefore, the application of a medical malpractice framework was appropriate. Additionally, the court explained that even though some of the plaintiff’s claims arose out of the defendant’s delay arriving at the scene, they still sounded in malpractice, as issues of response time directly related to the treatment of a patient, which bears a substantial relationship to a patient’s overall medical care.
Finally, the court rejected the plaintiff’s assertion that the statute of limitations should be tolled due to delays in obtaining her letters of administration, noting that she waived the right to set forth such arguments by not raising them earlier. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.
Meet with an Experienced Rochester Medical Malpractice Lawyer
It is essential that people suffering from critical medical issues receive prompt and thorough care, and if they do not, it can cause devastating harm. If you suffered losses because of inadequate medical treatment, you could be owed damages, and it is important to speak to an attorney promptly. The medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers have ample experience handling emergency room malpractice cases, and if you hire us, we will fight tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach us via our form online or at 585-653-7343 to schedule a meeting.