Girardi | Keese

Medical malpractice lawsuit brought back to life

When anybody visits the hospital for treatment, they expect to be taken care of in the appropriate manner. However, this does not always happen. As a result, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed at some point.

In May 1996, a man was taken to an Oakland hospital for surgery after being wounded by a gunshot. While he was unconscious, a bile duct stent was inserted, making him unaware that it was in his body.

In August 2010, the man visited a Los Angeles hospital complaining of vomiting and abdominal pain. It was at this time that doctors found and removed the stent. At the time, he was told that such objects are typically removed within six months, as they are no longer effective after one year.

Following this, the man brought a lawsuit against the doctors who originally inserted the stent. The doctors argued that California's three year statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits had passed, and the judge agreed.

A state appeals court recently brought the lawsuit back to life, stating that the three year statute of limitations does not apply if the injury is caused by the presence of a foreign body of which the patient is unaware.

At this time, the man will continue forward with his medical malpractice lawsuit. While the doctors and hospital could appeal the rule to the Supreme Court, it is unsure of if they will do so.

This is a complicated medical malpractice lawsuit, as it dates back to an injury originally sustained 18 years ago. With this type of claim, the assistance of a qualified attorney is often required.

Source: San Francisco Gate, "Malpractice suit revived over stent left in gunshot victim" Bob Egelko, Feb. 21, 2014

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