Pursuant to New York law, parties pursuing wrongful death claims against negligent healthcare providers must comply with the applicable statute of limitations. Generally, the courts will dismiss claims filed outside of the statutory period. There are exceptions, though, that allow for the tolling of the statute of limitations, such as when a claim relates back to a previously filed pleading. In a recent opinion issued in a wrongful death and medical malpractice case, a New York court analyzed whether the relation back doctrine applies to consolidated cases, ultimately concluding that it does. If you lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, it is in your best interest to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to discuss your potential claims.
The Procedural History of the Case
It is reported that the decedent died in October 2017. In May 2019, the plaintiffs filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit against multiple defendants, arguing that their failure to properly interpret the decedent’s imaging studies led to his death. In January 2020, the plaintiffs filed a second medical malpractice and wrongful death case, naming a doctor that was not properly served in the first case and her company as defendants.
Allegedly, the two cases were then consolidated. The defendants in the second action then moved for dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims on the grounds that they were filed outside of the statute of limitations. The plaintiffs opposed the motion, arguing that the relation back doctrine applied and, therefore, the claims were not barred by the statute of limitations. Continue reading