In a recent case, a plaintiff who was receiving treatment at a hospital was injured as he was being moved on a gurney within the hospital by medical personnel. While the plaintiff was being transferred, the gurney tipped over, and he suffered fractures as a result. The plaintiff filed a claim against the hospital. The complaint was filed more than a year but less than two years after the injury.
In the plaintiff’s jurisdiction, general negligence cases were subject to a two-year statute of limitations, whereas medical malpractice cases were subject to a one-year statute of limitations. The defendants argued that the claim was filed too late, since there was a one-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases. The trial court agreed and dismissed the case.
After the case was decided, the state’s supreme court then decided that in negligence cases involving the use of medical equipment, a specific section of the state’s code applied. The case was reconsidered in light of the supreme court’s holding. The court found that since in this case the negligence was related to the plaintiff’s medical diagnosis and treatment, the negligence occurred “in the rendering of professional services,” and his case was subject to the one-year statute of limitations.