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Washington Supreme Court Rules on Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations Issue

medical malpractice.jpg Washington’s Supreme Court declared yesterday that a Benton County resident’s medical malpractice case could go forward, after it found that a state provision which barred his case’s progress was unconstitutional. The court issued a 7-2 decision in the case of Jayrd Schroeder. Schroeder sued both a radiologist and a medical facility in Richland, Washington for allegedly failing to discover a medical condition when Schroeder was a young child.

The majority of the Washington Supreme Court justices declared that the trial court incorrectly dismissed Schroeder’s claim on the ground that it was filed after the statute of limitations expired. On appeal, Schroeder argued that a state law that restricted minors from delaying the time period imposed by the statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases violated the state’s constitution. The Supreme Court agreed with Schroeder’s position. Justice James Johnson authored the dissenting opinion and in it he stated that the legislature’s intent was clear in this situation. He stated that intent was to reduce medical malpractice insurance rates and prevent defendants from having to defend dated claims.

Wash. justices allow negligence claim to proceed, www.palmbeachpost.com January 16, 2013


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