What are the legal options available to someone injured by a doctor years ago and who is now experiencing long term effects?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are the legal options available to someone injured by a doctor years ago and who is now experiencing long term effects?

About 16 years ago, I underwent laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. However, during the surgery the doctor removed the common bile duct completely before realizing he still had the gallbladder still attached. After he realized he

had removed the wrong thing, he proceeded to cut large into the abdomen to stent the liver. I was life flighted to another hospital 2 hours away where I underwent 2 days of procedures to repair the missing bile duct. The 2nd surgery was over 10 hours long. The doctors had to cut from the small intestine to make a new common bile duct. Fast forward and now I have experienced a closed bile duct that had to be opened last week and which required further testing to check for liver damage. I also have been told that I’m full of adhesions, which is also prohibiting me from being able to carry a child along with the common bile duct possibly needing to be completely replaced which is major surgery. I suffer from PTSD, anxiety, depression among other health issues due to gaining a large amount of weight after the surgery. I have high blood pressure and heart issues. I’m just curious even though it is passed the statute of limitations, is there anything that can be done?

Asked on September 25, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are correct that the statute of limitations has tolled (expired).
PA has a two year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in a medical malpractice case.  This is two years from the point where the patient discovers or reasonably should have discovered that the injury occurred.
For cases arising after March 2002, injured patients are allowed up to seven years from the date the medically negligent act occurred to file a lawsuit.  If the injury is discovered more than seven years after the medically negligent act occurred, the patient will not be able to file a lawsuit against the medical provider.
Therefore, if you are claiming that your current problems are due to the malpractice from the original surgery, your claim is barred by the statute of limitations, and unfortunately, you have lost your rights forever in the matter because when the statute of limitations expires, no legal claims can be brought.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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