Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Mississippi released a written opinion in a case, Thornhill v. Ingram, holding that a medical malpractice plaintiff’s case was untimely because the statute of limitations had run. This left the plaintiff with no way to recover for the injuries he allegedly sustained as a result of the defendant’s negligence.
The Facts of the Case
Back in 2002, one of the plaintiff’s loved ones passed away after being treated by the defendant doctor at the defendant hospital. However, after her treatment at the hospital, the plaintiff’s loved one passed away from a condition that was not diagnosed until it was too late. The plaintiff filed suit against the doctor and hospital.
Eight years later, the case had not gone to trial and was not making significant progress, and the defendants asked the court to dismiss the case for lack of prosecution. The court agreed and dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning that it could be refiled if and when the plaintiff chose to do so.
A few months later, the plaintiff refiled the case. In response, the defendants asked the court to dismiss the case again, this time on the basis that the statute of limitations had already passed. The court agreed with the defendant and dismissed the case. The plaintiff then filed an interlocutory appeal to the Supreme Court of Mississippi. The reason for the mid-trial appeal was to determine whether the case was barred because it was refiled past the statute of limitations.
The Supreme Court of Mississippi determined that the dismissal of the case from the trial court did not “toll” the statute of limitations, meaning that it did not pause the clock. That being the case, the plaintiff’s action was barred by the statute of limitations. The court explained that some dismissals may toll a statute of limitations, but it would not make sense for a dismissal for failure to prosecute a case to toll the statute because the plaintiff was not being duly diligent while the case was open and pending in front of the court. Because of this, the plaintiff will not be able to seek financial recovery for the death of her loved one.
Have You Been Injured in a Case of Medical Malpractice?
If you believe that you or a loved one was recently the victim of medical negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Of course, the sooner you discuss your case with a dedicated attorney the better because that attorney can start to conduct the necessary investigation and work with you to develop a case strategy. The skilled attorneys at the Maryland-based law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have the dedication and experience you need to feel comfortable leaving your case in their hands. Call 61-654-3600 today to set up your free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Man Sues Wal-Mart after Allegedly Faulty Boots Cause Serious Injury, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, September 23, 2015
State Supreme Court Finds in Favor of Slip-and-Fall Victim on Sovereign Immunity Issue, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2015