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How long to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the state of california?

Loma Linda, CA |

I was pregnant with my third child, near her due date, she was breeched. The doctor turned her 3 times externally on the 30th of october, 2006. Then he set an appointment for the 31st for a cesarean. At the time of my appointment, after I was already prepped, she turned on her own. The doctor came in and said since she turned, we'd wait. She was not born until Nov. 9. Then, I began bleeding and continued to have contractions after the birth. They found the uterus had ruptured and had grown into my uterus. I had an emergency hyst. When I asked why it happened, NONE of the doctors would tell me. The one who operated on my said that he found a tumor. Just this year I found out that if I had had a tumor, I would not have been pregnant. Do I stil have time to file?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. In California, the time to commence an action for professional negligence against a health care provider is "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 Civ. Proc., § 340.5.) In no event will the time for commencement of legal action exceed three years, unless tolled because of (1) proof of fraud, (2) intentional concealment, or (3) the presence of a foreign body, which has no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect, in the body of the injured person. (Id.)

    It sounds like you may be claiming fraud or concealment, which are two of the three bases for tolling the limitation period. You very well may still have time to file. But . . .

    (1) Do you have a qualified person (probably an OB/GYN doctor) willing to testify the medical treatment you received fell below the standard of care? Without this, you won't have a case.

    (2) Have you requested and received copies of your complete medical chart? With the passage of time, things may get lost.


  2. An experienced medical malpractice plaintiff’s attorney can assess your case. Make an appointment for a consultation with one ASAP.

    Best of luck to you.

    This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.


  3. You need to find a med mal lawyer who does ob/gyn birth cases regularly and get to see them immediately.

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