In this article, we will discuss whether you can sue for medical malpractice years after treatment. The short answer is, yes, you can, since most states give you two to three years to bring a claim after malpractice occurs. The longer answer is, it depends on the type of injury and the state in which the claim is brought. Below, we will go through various examples of when the "countdown" begins for purposes of the statute of limitations deadline.
The 10th US Court of Appeals reviewed various similar informed consent cases and found that courts took different views on whether or not lying to a patient about a physician's background could be considered a breach of informed consent. Some courts held that doctors could be found liable only if they lied regarding the risks of the proposed treatment. In this case, the appellate court decided that the patient should have had a chance to make the argument, and sent the case back for retrial on that issue.
The civil tort of assault is premised on the fact that a person says something or otherwise implies that he or she will have some type of harmful or offensive contact with the victim and the victim has reasonable apprehension of this contact occurring. This tort does not require that the contact actually occur, but merely requires that the victim has the apprehension that it will. In the medical context, this may occur if a doctor threatens to take medical action against the patient’s will.
Being unhappy with your treatment or the results of that treatment does not mean the doctor is liable or guilty of medical malpractice. The doctor must have been negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment. To sue for malpractice, you must be able to show that the doctor caused you harm in a way that a competent doctor would not have if they were treating you under the same circumstances. The doctor’s care is not required to be the best possible, merely “reasonably skillful and careful”. Whether the doctor was reasonably skillful and careful is often at the heart of a medical malpractice claim.
The FTCA basically carves out a limited exception to the doctrine of sovereign immunity. As it applies in the context of claims against the Veterans Administration, the law only allows veterans to sue to recover damages incurred due to negligence of an employee or agent acting “within the scope of their employment.” Furthermore, the law only allows for damages if the plaintiff would ordinarily be entitled to damages even if the negligence or omission was due to the actions of an employee of a private company, under the laws in effect where the incident happened.
Writing for the court in Alden, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that in view of this, and given the limited nature of congressional power delegated by the original unamended Constitution, the court could not "conclude that the specific Article I powers delegated to Congress necessarily include, by virtue of the Necessary and Proper Clause or otherwise, the incidental authority to subject the States to private suits as a means of achieving objectives otherwise within the scope of the enumerated powers."
Because Congress' power under §5 is only "the power 'to enforce,' not the power to determine what constitutes a constitutional violation," for the abrogation to be valid, the statute must be remedial or protective of a right protected by the Fourteenth Amendment and "[t]here must be a congruence and proportionality between the injury to be prevented or remedied and the means adopted to that end," City of Boerne v. Flores. But "[t]he ultimate interpretation and determination of the Fourteenth Amendment's substantive meaning remains the province of the Judicial Branch." Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents. Simply put: "Under the City of Boerne doctrine, courts must ask whether a statutory remedy has 'congruence and proportionality' to violations of Section 1 rights, as those rights are defined by courts." Althouse, Vanguard States, Laggard States: Federalism & Constitutional Rights, 152 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1745, 1780 (2004)
It is very common for an injured person to consult a lawyer saying ‘if Dr Smith had told me I would end up like this I would never have agreed to the procedure’. While the saying ‘hindsight is always 20/20’ is often appropriate, there are situations where an injured person could and should sue their doctor or other professional for failing to warn them of significant risks of a procedure.
When a claimant uses this exception, the state cannot be included in the suit; instead, the name of the individual defendant is listed. The claimant cannot seek damages from the state, because the claimant cannot list the state as a party. The claimant can seek prospective, or future, relief by asking the court to direct the future behavior of the official.
There is only a limited time during which a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed. In the United States, these time limits are set by statute. In civil law systems, similar provisions are usually part of the civil code or criminal code and are often known collectively as "periods of prescription" or "prescriptive periods." The length of the time period and when that period begins vary per jurisdiction and type of malpractice. Therefore, each state has different time limits set. For example, in Pennsylvania, there is a two-year statute of limitation, but in other states the limitations period may be longer. Most states have special provisions for minors that may potentially extend the statute of limitations for a minor who has been injured as the result of medical malpractice.
Federal employees may become personally liable for constitutional deprivation by direct participation, failure to remedy wrongs after learning about it, creation of a policy or custom under which constitutional practices occur or gross negligence in managing subordinates who cause violations. (Gallegos v. Haggerty, Northern District of New York, 689 F.Supp. 93)
This is not to say that doctors can withhold details when they believe a patient might refuse treatment they deem beneficial, though. My father, Barry J. Nace, was actually involved in a seminal case that has helped to further shape the boundaries of informed consent in such situations. Canterbury v. Spence, 464 F2d 772 (D.C. 1972) involved a surgeon who withheld the possibility of paralysis from a spine surgery patient, fearing that anxiety on the part of the individual might lead to postponing the procedure. Ultimately, the patient suffered complications and ended up paralyzed, while the surgeon claimed he was operating within community disclosure standards—an accepted idea at the time that judged whether physicians within a particular “community” would customarily convey such information in similar circumstances.