Folsom, CA asked in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice for California

Q: can I sue for medical malpractice a wound that won't heal due to the negligence of hospital staff over 40 years ago?

1977 at age 17, i was in a motorcycle accident and suffered several injuries. i was in traction & a sponge was placed under the bracket that rested on my shin & never was checked or changed for at least 10-12 months while i was in traction. when they finally removed the traction, they noticed the sponge, operated on my shin to remove the sponge and dead tissue, because that part had separated from the healthy tissue on my leg. They attempted skin grafts, and which wouldn't take to the wound. When I was released, I was simply told to scrub it out and keep it clean. For the last 40 years, that part of my leg has never healed. There is a wound there constantly that gets infected. I was just recently informed that it is considered malpractice. Right now it is currently infected, and I was just checked by the E.R. staff a couple of months ago because they thought the infection had gone to the bone.

3 Lawyer Answers
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You are well past the statute of limitations for something that happened 40 years ago. In California, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed no later than three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury (whichever occurs first). Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5. leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CCP&sectionNum=340.5

It is possible that sometime within the past year, your physician should have diagnosed and or treated your wound to prevent the current infection. You should consult a medical malpractice attorney about the details of such a claim.

Ross Diamond III
Ross Diamond III
Answered

A: You have waited far too long to pursue your claim. I do not know the California statute of limitations, but it cannot be anything close to 40 ytears.

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: more info needed but it appears the statute of limitations has passed.

you should have filed within a year of the time you learned or should have learned of the negligence with it not being over 3 years.

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