Three Nearly Identical Med Mal Cases Thrown Out for Missing Statute of Limitations
The Indiana Court of Appeals has granted summary judgment to physicians and their hospitals in three nearly identical medical malpractice and wrongful death cases filed more than seven years after the deaths of three patients after finding the actions could have been filed years prior. The three patients, Louis Biedron, Dorothy Sullivan and Patricia Poteet, each received treatment from two anonymous physicians and their hospital, who implanted cardiac pacemakers in all three patients. Biedron died almost 1 ½ years after his surgery, Sullivan died during her surgery and Poteet died almost a year and three months after her surgery.
It took more than seven years after their deaths for personal representatives from each estate to file medical malpractice complaints. The defendants in all three cases moved for summary judgment on the basis that the complaints were filed outside the two-year statutory limitation period. In response, the estates contended the period should be tolled by the doctrine of fraudulent concealment and submitted a supporting affidavit from Dr. Nadim Nasir, Jr., who testified the anonymous physicians fell below the applicable standard of care.
All the cases made their way to the Indiana Court of Appeals, where the appellate court found that each estate failed to establish an issue of material fact as to their fraudulent concealment theories, as well as establish the defendants’ concealment of material information prevented the plaintiffs from investigating the condition of the deceased more closely.