Last month, an Illinois appellate court issued a written opinion in a medical malpractice case, applying the “discovery rule” to potentially allow a plaintiff’s late-filed case to proceed to trial. Normally, all medical malpractice cases must be filed within the statute of limitations. However, when applied by a court, the discovery rule can act to toll a statute of limitations until the plaintiff discovers that there may be a viable medical malpractice case against the defendant. Thus, in the case of Moon v. Rhode, the court reversed a lower court’s decision that had held the discovery rule did not apply to the plaintiff’s case and remanded the case for further analysis from the lower court.
The plaintiff’s mother was treated by several doctors for rectal prolapse. Several days after she was treated by the doctors, she passed away, allegedly due to those doctors’ negligence. The plaintiff filed a timely medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors.
During the course of the plaintiff’s investigation of the initial lawsuit, the plaintiff received an opinion from an expert that another doctor, the defendant in this case, was also partially responsible for failing to notice certain problems evident on an MRI his mother had several years back. The plaintiff then filed this medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant.