Earlier this month, one state’s appellate court issued a written opinion in a plaintiff’s case against the hospital where he was injured when he fell off a gurney while being transported. In the case, Nava v. Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, the court determined that the plaintiff’s injury was “related to” his medical care, and therefore he should have complied with the stricter one-year statute of limitations. Since the plaintiff filed his lawsuit after the one-year period, he will not be entitled to compensation for his injuries.
Nava was a patient at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. One day in February 2012, when hospital staff was transporting Nava, the gurney he was being carried on tipped to one side, causing Nava to fall onto the floor. As a result of the fall, Nava suffered fractures to his clavicle and patella.
In February 2014, a few days before the two-year anniversary of his injury, Nava filed a personal injury lawsuit against the hospital. In his jurisdiction, the statute of limitations for ordinary negligence was two years, so Nava thought his lawsuit was timely. However, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits was one year. In response to the case filed against it, Saddleback argued that the case should be considered a medical malpractice lawsuit, and it was filed too late.
The court agreed with Saddleback, determining that Nava’s injury involved the use of medical equipment and was “related to” his medical care. The court held that the one-year statute of limitations was appropriately applied by the lower court. Thus, Nava will not be permitted to proceed with his case because it was filed too late.
Maryland Statutes of Limitations
In Maryland, the statutes of limitations for both personal injury and medical malpractice are three years. This means that a Maryland plaintiff will not face the same harsh consequences that the plaintiff did in the case discussed above. However, Maryland medical malpractice cases do have other requirements, such as an expert’s affidavit stating that the plaintiff’s case has merit. If a plaintiff’s case is determined to be one of medical malpractice, and he fails to comply with all of the procedural rules, the case may face a delay or even dismissal. Anyone interested in filing a personal injury or medical malpractice case should contact a dedicated personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics of their case.
Have You Been a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of what you believe to be medical malpractice, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys at the Maryland law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience helping their clients seek the compensation they deserve. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with an experienced attorney. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our time unless we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
More Blog Posts:
71-Year-Old Woman Struck by Electric Shopping Cart, Recovers $1.3 Million from Grocery Chain, Maryland Accident Law Blog, October 17, 2016.
Accident Victim’s Bad-Faith Claim Against Insurance Company Fails Based on Legitimate Dispute of Liability and Causation, Maryland Accident Law Blog, October 3, 2016.