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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Civil Practice – Statute of Limitations – Patient’s Awareness

As of May 21, 2014, plaintiff knew she had sepsis and faced amputations; however, it appears that neither she nor her doctors were clear as to the underlying cause of her injury: that failure to diagnose and/or treat her abdominal pain resulted in bowel perforation and subsequent sepsis. Because the record does not show when plaintiff was or should have been aware that the North Central Family Medical Clinic’s alleged failure to diagnose her abdominal pain/Crohn’s disease may have caused her injury, there is a genuine issue as to whether plaintiff knew the underlying cause of her injury more than two years before she filed her claim on June 14, 2016.

The court denies the government’s motion for summary judgment. However, neither equitable tolling nor the continuous treatment doctrine applies.

The complaint fails to include allegations regarding plaintiff’s incapacitation or inability to file prior to June 14, 2016; therefore, she is not entitled to equitable tolling of the statute of limitations.

Although plaintiff continued to be treated at the North Central Family Medical Clinic for issues related to her hospitalization and amputations, there has been no showing she was seen at NCFMC for ongoing treatment of her Crohn’s disease in an effort to correct the injury. Even though plaintiff’s amputations were a result of the alleged failure to diagnose or treat Crohn’s disease, treatment at NCFMC after the amputations was not for Crohn’s. Therefore, the continuous treatment doctrine does not apply.

Motion denied.

Knox v. United States (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-140-18, 21 pp.) (Cameron McGowan Currie, S.J.) 0:17-cv-00036; Ashley White Creech, Chad McGowan, Eve Schafer Goodstein and Jordan Christopher Calloway for plaintiff; Christie Newman, Marshall Prince, Todd Russell Flippin, William Benson Darwin Jr., Scott Sterling Addison, Kevin Lee Pratt, Tricia Morvan Derr, E. Douglas Pratt-Thomas, Steven Todd Moon, H. Spencer King III and Matthew Holmes Henrikson. D.S.C.

 

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