Texas Supreme Court Upholds State’s Medical Malpractice Statue of Limitations


The Texas Supreme Court ruled that a woman cannot bring a medical malpractice claim against a local hospital because the surgical error was discovered after the 10 year statute of limitations had already expired. The decision overturned an appeals court ruling in favor of the woman.

The state law regarding medical malpractice claims requires a lawsuit to be filed within 10 years of the incident. According to the Texas Supreme Court, the discovery of a medical error after this time period has lapsed is apparently not a valid reason to extend the statute of limitations.

The Court ruled that the law was intended to curb liability claims against doctors in order to help reduce the rates of malpractice insurance they must pay. However, this ruling also unfairly denies injured victims of medical negligence the right to receive the compensation they deserve if it takes years to discover the error.

In this particular case, Emmalene Rankin began experiencing abdominal pain in 2006. When she received medical attention, it was discovered that her pain was being caused by a sponge that was left inside her during a hysterectomy performed in 1995. The fact that it took 11 years to discover the error has prevented her from receiving compensation for her damages. Furthermore, the negligent medical professionals will not be held accountable for their actions.

Unfortunately, in this case, the Texas Supreme Court has dealt a crushing blow to injured victims who legitimately require compensation for medical errors.

Written by Andrew Martin: professional blogger and guru of misfortune.