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Louisiana Appeals Court Dismisses Malpractice Case for Missed Deadline

March 22nd, 2018
By Zach Christiansen of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Medical Malpractice on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

A Louisiana appeals court has ruled that a woman who had filed a lawsuit following the death of her daughter missed an essential deadline, effectively ending the case. The victim died in January of 2011, but the plaintiff failed to prove that she did not discover malpractice allegedly played a role in the incident until February of 2013.


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In the state of Louisiana, victims of medical malpractice usually have one year from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit against the liable parties. This is called the “prescriptive period,” and if it passes before you file a claim, the court will likely dismiss the case.

Even if the malpractice has fatal complications, the victim’s family still has just one year to file a lawsuit against the negligent provider or facility. The prescriptive period typically begins on the date of the alleged incident; however, there are some exceptions.

In the case mentioned above, for example, the plaintiff argued she was not aware that malpractice had played a role in her daughter’s death until more than two years after the fact. Depending on the circumstances, this would normally be the kind of scenario in which the court would make an exception to the statute of limitations; however, the woman was unable to prove her claim.

If you or someone you love received substandard care but you’re not sure if the deadline for filing a suit has passed, turn to The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. We understand the physical, financial, and emotional stress that an injury or illness can place on you and your loved ones. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a case evaluation with a medical malpractice attorney in New Orleans.

When Might the Court Make an Exception to the Statute of Limitations?

If the malpractice was not immediately apparent, patients have one year from the date on which they discovered or should have discovered it to sue the liable party. In order for this exception to apply, claimants must be able to demonstrate why the damages were not obvious shortly after the incident.

Despite this exception, victims do not have an unlimited amount of time in which to bring a claim against a negligent healthcare provider or facility. In addition to the statute of limitations, Louisiana also has a statute of repose, which limits the total amount of time plaintiffs have to file a suit, regardless of when they discover the damages. The statute of repose for medical malpractice claims is three years.

As far as filing deadlines go, Louisiana has some of the shortest. For this reason, it is essential to seek legal counsel as soon as you think you received substandard care in a healthcare setting.

If you were the victim of medical malpractice, turn to The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. David A. Bowling has more than 30 years of trial experience and can assess your case to determine if you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact us online or call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in New Orleans. You can learn more about malpractice claims in Louisiana by visiting the USAttorneys website.

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