If you're injured in a hospital or because of the negligence of a doctor, it's important to file a medical malpractice claim as soon as possible. If you don't, you could run into a situation like this one, where a man's time ran out to file and his claim is no longer valid.
A former cancer patient suing the Cleveland Clinic has lost his battle for a medical malpractice claim, according to an Oct. 28 report. The Ohio Supreme Court decided to end the legal battle by stating that a malpractice lawsuit cannot be filed more than four years after an alleged injury.
The original claim took place following a surgery in 2008, in which a man underwent a procedure to remove a cancerous prostate gland. The surgery left him incontinent and impotent; he claims that a doctor-in-training performed the operation instead of the doctor who the man thought was going to be his surgeon.
Originally, the malpractice lawsuit had been filed in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court in 2010. The man claims that he had to withdraw the case because the hospital was using delay tactics and refused to grant him access to records that he needed. He refiled the case in 2015, but the court threw out the new lawsuit because it believed that the medical malpractice claim needed to be filed within four years.
A state appeals court overturned the decision, because the man knew about his injuries within the four-year window and had attempted to make a claim. Now, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed the appeals court's decision, which ended the lawsuit.
There are some cases where a four-year argument might not be upheld, but in this case, it didn't work out for this patient. In your case, if you are concerned about the time that has lapsed, a legal professional can help you understand the statute of limitations and if it applies.
Source: The Plain Dealer, "Cleveland Clinic, former cancer patient long legal battle appears over after Ohio Supreme Court ruling," Brie Zeltner, Oct. 28, 2016