A Beaumont, Texas man has filed a medical malpractice suit against a local doctor, alleging a needle negligently left inside his body during surgery perforated his bladder. According to the suit filed in Jefferson County District Court, the doctor – a long time general surgeon in Beaumont – failed to locate and retrieve the needle before closing up Plaintiff after surgery.
Maryland malpractice law is tough on many of these “left something behind in the patient” claims because of the five-year statute of repose. This malpractice statute of limitations does not excuse cases filed after five years of the injury, even if the plaintiff never knew of the injury. Some disagree with this interpretation by arguing that an “injury” does not occur until the patient knows of the injury, but I don’t know whether this is a viable end-run around that statute that the Maryland appellate courts will sign off on under the current state of his malpractice law (we have never pursed a case outside of the five-year limit). The application of this statute will vary from case to case – fraud is certainly an exception to the harshness of this statute – but this statute can cause some very harsh outcomes.