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Michigan City Indiana Malpractice Lawyer | Another Patient’s Case Dismissed for Blowing the Statute of Limitations

Guy DiMartino Nov. 4, 2014

Michigan City Indiana medical malpractice lawyer discusses another recent case where a patient's case is dismissed for blowing the statute of limitations.

I may sound like a broken record but a lot of alleged victims of medical malpractice never get their case heard on the merits because they blow the 2-year statute of limitations. I have discussed some cases here and here and here.

When analyzing these cases the facts are very important – so here they are:

  • A patient goes in for surgery on her toe in March 2007

  • By July 2007 the toe is having problems and was standing up at a 45 degree angle

  • By October 2007, the patient realized that she was not experience the relief that she expected, her foot was hurting more than before the surgery

  • The patient testified that she knew she should have gotten a second opinion at that time

  • In April 2009, the patient gets a second opinion

  • On the intake questionnaire, the patient says the other doctor “messed up” her foot

  • The doctor tells the patient that the second toe is too short and she needs another surgery

  • In March 2001, just four years shy of the first surgery date, the patient files a proposed complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance

The legal proceedings

The defendant doctor's lawyer files a motion with the trial court asking the court to dismiss the case because the patient did not file her proposed complaint within the 2-year statute of limitations. The trial court denied the request but allowed the doctor to appeal the ruling.

On appeal, the appellate court said the case should be dismissed. Specifically, the court said:

…a few months after the surgery to shorten her toe, that same toe stood up at a 45 degree angle, and Wininger continued to suffer foot pain. By October, 2007 Wininger knew that she should get a second medical opinion. When she saw Dr. Powers more than two years after the surgery, she explained that the reason for her visit was that “A.P messed [her] foot up.” Appellant's Appendix at 79. Under these circumstances, the statute of limitations was not tolled, Wininger's complaint was not timely filed, and the trial court erred in denying A.P.'s summary judgment motion.

Lessons Learned

I bring forth these real life cases so we can learn from the mistakes of others. The take home point in this matter is that if you believe something went wrong with your medical treatment and you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you should have a legal consultation ASAP. Blowing the statute of limitations is one of the 8 reasons discussed on this video explaining why malpractice victims do not receive a dime for their injuries.