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April 2016
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  • IL Supreme Court to Decide Case Pinned on Statute of Limitations

    The outcome of a medical litigation case, now before state’s highest court, will have an important impact on how the statute of limitations is applied to lawsuits alleging medical negligence and wrongful death, which will affect all Illinois physicians.

    ISMS partnered with the American Medical Association Litigation Center to file an amicus curiae brief arguing that for Moon v. Rhode, M.D. the statute of limitations for wrongful death had expired by the time the plaintiff filed suit.

    Here’s a summary of the case:

    A deceased patient’s estate is suing a physician for medical negligence for failing to report a medical issue in 2009 when the patient was 90 years old. In February 2013, an expert witness for the plaintiff suggested that the medical issue likely contributed to the patient’s death in 2009. A wrongful death action against the doctor was filed the following month in March 2013.

    In Illinois, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of the death, while the statute of limitations for medical negligence is two years from the date of discovery.

    The trial court and the Third District Appellate Court found that the filing of the claim was not timely and dismissed the case, since it was filed more than two years after the death of the patient.

    The plaintiff’s estate appealed the ruling of the Appellate Court, asserting that the cause of the patient’s death was not discovered until after the statute of limitations had run out for the wrongful death action (but not for medical negligence).

    The Illinois Supreme Court accepted the appeal, and oral arguments in the case of Moon v. Rhode, M.D. are expected to be heard in late spring of 2016.

    We will keep you informed as the case proceeds.

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