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Case Law Update: Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice (3-19-10)

Wilson v. Humana Hospital, No. 1-07-3454 (3-19-10) affirmed a medical malpractice case filed by a mother on behalf of her son based on alleged birth injuries, in failing to timely perform and report lab studies after mother’s water broke several weeks prior to due date, and baby born two days later with significant and continuing respiratory problems. Not guilty verdict was rendered after lengthy jury trial. Experts disagreed on whether brain damage due to prematurity or malpractice, including whether baby had certain type of infection. Plaintiff opened the door to any defense cross-examination or rebuttal on issue of tests by questioning plaintiff’s own experts about it. Court properly instructed jury as to statute of limitations affirmative defense and legal disability, where child, who was age 10 at time suit filed, appeared to be not under legal disability for purpose of giving trial testimony. This Illinois case will impact medical malpractice law.

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