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Can I sue a Lasik eye doctor after 10 years?

Saint Louis, MO |

I have recently been diagnosed as having corneal ectasia and have to have a corneal transplant. I was told I have this condition due to the Lasik doctor shaving my cornea too I have the right to sue or to make them pay for this surgery? Thanks,

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Attorney answers 4


This depends on which state the alleged malpractice took place in. I see that you live in MO so I am assuming that the Lasik surgery also took place there as well. Generally speaking, MO allows a plaintiff to sue within 2 years of the doctor's alleged malpractice or 2 years after the discovery, but the general rule is after 10 years, you cannot bring a claim. There are certain exceptions such as minors under 8 who must bring suit before they turn 20. If you believe that you fit one of the exceptions, you should consult an attorney.

Please note that I do not warrant that this is legal advice. This is not a solicitation for, nor is that an establishment of any attorney-client relationship. For any legal advice, you should consult an attorney.


Unfortunately, 10 years after your Lasik procedure it would be be extremely difficult to prove your corneal ectasia resulted from treatment that was below the standard of care at the time the procedure was performed. That is due, in part, because the standard has changed quite a bit over the past 10-15 years. Moreover, there is disagreement among the "experts" regarding what patients are or are not good candidates for Lasik, and the amount of pre-procedure corneal thickness that is deemed necessary to protect a patient from ectasia varies. In addition, depending upon where your surgery was performed, there is probably a statute of limitations that would prevent you from starting a lawsuit so many years after the surgery. It won't hurt to run this by a local attorney, but I suspect it is too late. Sorry.

Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


Every state has a statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice cases. You should set up a consultation with an attorney in your state who specializes in medical malpractice. Most will give you a free consultation. The attorney can advise you on the statute of limitations applicable to your case. You can find an attorney on


Assuming that your case is in Missouri (as you indicate you are from St. Louis), the short answer is no. You are well outside both the 2 year statute of limitation and the statute of repose in Missouri.

This answer is provided as a public service for informational purposes only. Providing this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. As with all legal matters, you should contact an experienced attorney in your geographical area to discuss the law specific to your state. Mr. Hendrickson can be contacted via his website at

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