What Is The Role Of The Limitation Statute In Mesh Lawsuits?
If you experience post-surgical complications after a hernia mesh surgery, there may be several considerations before you file a lawsuit. In certain cases, what if the resultant complication occurs after months or years after the procedure is done? Will the lawsuit be debarred under the statute of limitations?
What Factors Influence Implementation of Limitation Statute?
The first thing to consider as a litigant is to understand as to who decides the deadline and how. Every state passes certain laws prescribing the time limit for filing a lawsuit, amongst other things. These laws are known as the statute of limitations.
There are different time deadlines prescribed in the statute of limitations for different cases. Despite the different time limits, the consequence of the failure to meet them remains the same, i.e. waiver by disqualification. This means you lose (waive off) your right to sue for compensation by being an unqualified litigant.
Like any other general rule, there are certain exceptions for the statute of limitations also. However, it is important to identify exactly which limitation statutory provision or exception applies to the context of your case.
The most important factor for consideration before applying the legal provisions is to understand the facts and circumstances of the case. It is also important to identify the cause, context and the allegation to determine the course of legal argumentation you are likely to adopt.
To put it simply, find out what caused the issue and who is to blame for the resulting failure. For instance, if there is a problem with the mesh, then you will file for a product liability lawsuit. On the other hand, if it is the fault of the doctor or the medical staff, you will file for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
How Does The Discovery Rule Help in Such Lawsuits?
The statute of limitations in the above contexts will differ as the case may be. Despite the differential application and the inherent variation of the suit, you need not worry about deadlines, per se. This is because of the application of the “Discovery Rule” in lawsuits.
The Discovery Rule in lawsuits, especially in cases such as mesh failure, operates on discovery rather than stricto sensu application. This means that the statute of limitations will be attracted to your lawsuit from the date of discovery of the issue. Thus, statutory limitation on a 2013 surgery whose complications developed in 2014 will be calculated from 2014 and not 2013.
In the context of the Discovery Rule, most states grant an explicit “exception” status in the statute itself. Regardless of whether such a suit is a product liability or medical malpractice, the status of this legal doctrine remains status quo. This means that the statute of limitations “clock” ticks, legally from the date and time of discovery.
Despite the innumerable variations in the statutory books, as a litigant, you need not concern yourself with it. However, it is important to know the fundamental tenets of the laws that operate in your state. This helps you to assert your right and seek the lawful remedy in a timely fashion.