Can I sue for malpractice if another issue comes up years later?

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Can I sue for malpractice if another issue comes up years later?

I was misdiagnosed 4 years ago with the stomach flu when it was actually my appendix which ruptured. I was sent home and told that if I wasn’t better in a week to go see my doctor. This being after I specifically asked if it was my appendix. I went home and a week later was still no better, so I went to a different

hospital and was told that my appendix had ruptured 5-7 days prior and I needed an immediate appendectomy. I was in the hospital for 3 months and had 2 more surgeries to clean up the damage and remove the bowel that had been too severely damaged. It took over a year for me to get back to work and to

thinking normally again and so I missed the cut off for suing then. However, now my husband and I are trying to conceive and I have just been told that I can’t because a prior severe infection has caused my tubes to become dilated and blocked. My doctors said this is very common with what I went through 4 years ago. I was just wondering if since a new medical condition caused by the malpractice would give me the ability to sue now.

Asked on May 8, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, too much time has passed, unfortunately. The statute of limitations, or time within which you must file a lawsuit, for medical malpractice in your state is 1 year. That can be delayed if you had no idea there was a problem and only discover it later; but you write that you were aware years ago of the rupture, damage, etc. Even if you were not aware of the resulting infertility, you were on notice that there were medical problems; being on notice of medical problems years ago, you would have had to have sued over all possible problems within a year of that time at most. You don't get extra time because one particular consequence of an otherwise known medical issue--especially when that consequence could have been detected earlier (i.e. a doctor could have examined you for the known aftereffects of this and detected the blackage) once you first knew to look for problems.


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