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New York Court Explains Evidence Considered in Determining if a Medical Malpractice Action is Time-Barred

While people harmed by inadequate medical care have the right to pursue claims against their providers, the right is not boundless. Instead, they must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within the time proscribed by law; if they file a claim outside of the statute of limitations, it will likely be dismissed. In a recent opinion delivered by a New York court in a medical malpractice case, the court discussed the evidence considered in determining if an action is time-barred. If you were hurt by medical oversights and you have questions about your potential claims, it is prudent to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff treated with the defendant from 2009 through 2013. During that time, the defendant provided the plaintiff with treatment for perimenopausal and postmenopausal symptoms. In 2014, ten months after the plaintiff’s last visit with the defendant, she treated with another physician who diagnosed her with osteopenia and osteoporosis. In 2015 plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, arguing he negligently failed to diagnose and treat her osteoporosis in a timely manner. The defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed as time-barred. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Evidence Considered in Determining if an Action is Time-Barred

In a motion to dismiss a cause of action as prohibited by the applicable statute of limitations, a defendant bears the burden of demonstrating that the time period within which the plaintiff needed to file their claims has expired. If the defendant meets this burden, the burden then shifts to the plaintiff, who must raise an issue of fact as to whether the statute of limitations is inapplicable or was tolled.

Pursuant to New York law, a medical malpractice claim must be pursued within two years and six months of the omission or act complained of, or if there is continuous treatment for the same illness, the date of the last treatment. The continuous treatment doctrine will only apply if the plaintiff sought and obtained treatment from the defendant during the relevant time, the treatment was for the same condition underlying the medical malpractice claim, and the treatment was continuous.

In the subject case, the court found that the continuous treatment doctrine did not apply. Further, the complaint was based on acts that occurred before April 2013, making the plaintiff’s claims time barred. As such, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with a Seasoned Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

People who suffer harm due to medical negligence may be owed damages, but if they do not pursue their claims promptly, they may lose the right to recover compensation. If you sustained harm because of an incompetent doctor, you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can gather the evidence in your favor and help you to pursue the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at 833-200-2000 to set up a conference.

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