Iowa Supreme Court Ruling Extends Statute of Limitations

The move is being heralded as a good thing, an opportunity for patients to give their physicians the benefit of the doubt, rather than second-guessing everything. In a legal sense, this is true. Whether patients really care about the statute of limitations in the case of a misdiagnosis is another thing altogether.

In the case, the patient was initially diagnosed with a benign lump. Further examination at a later date showed that the lump was not benign. Defense tried to claim that the statute of limitations had expired, but the Iowa Supreme Court allowed the case to be heard, stating that she couldn’t possibly have been aware of the Injury until she was diagnosed with breast cancer, at the very soonest.

The court feels that, by extending the right to file a malpractice suit, patients will not feel pressured to get second opinions, as their right to sue remains protected. The common-sense ruling states that “Rock could not have known, and should not have known, of her injury and its factual cause until the day she was diagnosed with cancer at the earliest.”

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