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Are there any exceptions to the statute of repose for medical malpractice?

Richardson, TX |

I was unable to file for over ten years, as a result of the mistreatment from the doctor.My health has improved greatly and I am physically and mentally competant. Are there any exceptions to the statute of repose, in the circumstance that I want to sue him? Thank you!

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Attorney answers 6


If you were under a disability or a minor when the alleged malpractice occurred, maybe. Statutes of repose are designed to cut off claims when, in the opinion of the state's legislature, enough time has passed for its citizens to have been able to reasonably discover whether or not a physician has breached the standard of care. Statutes of repose vary greatly among the 50 states. Check with an experienced Texas medical negligence trial lawyer. Some of the best in the country come from Texas.


Have a local med mal investigate your circumstances.


As noted, there is an expectation that you will bring suit within a reasonable period after discovering the injury. For example, if a patient doesn't discover scissors left in after a operation until three years later, they may still have a period to bring suit.

So it depends on circumstances. An attorney can analyze the situation and offer advice.

I am licensed in New Mexico and Pennsylvania, and therefore any discussion of issues related to other states must considered within that context. In addition, my comments are not intended to create a legal representation but merely to respond to the limited facts presented by the question. Any opinion herein is not meant as a precise statement of legal rights or as a recommendation of any particular course of action. A more complete legal review can be obtained through local counsel.


Talk to a medical malpractice attorney. Be aware that in Texas, it is almost impossible to sue a doctor under the best circumstances because of tort reform.


In general, the 10 year statute of repose that applies to medical malpractice actions in Texas is very strict. With that said, however, it is possible to challenge this limitation based on the Texas Constitution's Open Courts provision. This would be an uphill battle, though, and to justify the significant effort and expense that would be required, the facts of your case would have to be very unique. I recommend that you contact a qualified medical malpractice attorney in your area to discuss your potential case.

Medical malpractice cases are complex and I believe that clients are best served by contacting an experienced medical malpractice attorney. After all, results matter! You are welcome to contact me at 281-580-8800 or This Avvo comment does not create an attorney-client relationship and is for informational purposes only.


Yes. The state of Texas law at this time is that if a minor is injured by medical negligence before the age of eight years, the statute of repose is unconstitutional and unenforceable as to the minor's claim. As of today, no appellate court has recognized any other exception. In fact, the Supreme Court of Texas has upheld the statute's constitutionality and enforced it against a plaintiff who first discovered eleven years after a hysterectomy that her surgeon had left a foreign body, specifically a surgical sponge, in her abdomen. So, unless you were under eight years of age when your doctor mistreated you, I'm afraid you are likely out of luck. Nevertheless, if you could show that you were mentally incompetent (and thus lacked legal capacity to sue) for all or a substantial portion of the time between the treatment in question and now, you might have a chance of success.

I encourage you to consult a lawyer about this immediately. I suggest that you consult a Richardson or Dallas plaintiffs' lawyer who is certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. A link to the Board's website appears below.

Good luck.

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