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Michigan Court of Appeals affirms dismissal of woman's untimely filed malpractice suit

State Court

By John Sammon | Jan 15, 2020

Medical

DETROIT (Legal Newsline) – The Michigan Court of Appeals on Nov. 26 affirmed a lower court decision in favor of a doctor sued by a woman over allegations of malpractice, citing that the statute of limitations had expired.

“The trial court did not err by granting summary disposition in the defendant’s favor,” the opinion read.

On July 20, 2007, Sandra Marquardt underwent a heart mitral valve replacement surgery at the University of Michigan Hospital. She alleged during the surgery, she was negligently administered the drug Trasylol.

In 2009, a notice of intent (NOI) to file a malpractice claim according to Michigan Complied laws (MCL) was sent. The NOI was addressed to the University of Michigan risk assessment manager and said the plaintiff intended to file suit against treating doctors and the Michigan Health System.

Sandra Marquardt filed suit against University of Michigan Board of Regents, but did not name the treating doctor.

Marquardt died on Jan. 27, 2010, allegedly as a result of being wrongly administered the drug. Saron Marquardt, a relative, was appointed as plaintiff to pursue the matter as a representative of the decedent’s estate.

Later named as a defendant, the treating doctor, Vellaiah Umashankar M.D., moved for a summary judgment in court, saying the plaintiff failed to file the action within a statute of limitations and failed to satisfy notice provisions of the MCL.

The Washtenaw Circuit Court granted the summary judgment, agreeing the plaintiff had failed to satisfy MCL provisions.

Saron Marquardt filed suit against Umashankar with a new NOI in 2012. Umashankar moved again for summary judgment, saying the plaintiff’s claim was barred by a statute of limitations.

The plaintiff appealed maintaining the statute of limitations provision extended the time period until January of 2010 and that a wrongful death-saving provision in the MCL saved the claim until June of 2012 because the decedent had died within 30 days of the January 2010 expiration of the statute of limits.

The appeals court found the 2009 NOI sent to the Michigan University risk manager did not include Umashankar and was not addressed to him, so the NOI did not toll the stature of limitations.

“A plaintiff must submit an NOI to every health professional or health facility before filing a complaint,” the Appeals Court opinion brief read.

The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the judgement of the Circuit Court granting summary disposition to the defendant Umashankar.     

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