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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
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Experience:  Lead Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
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Hi, I have a two part question, first, i am 41 years old

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Hi, I have a two part question, first, i am 41 years old and on Friday May 13, 2005 I suddenly became short of breath with a rapid heart beat. A friend drove me to John Muir's ER upon be admitted for the extremely rapid heart beating I was later informed that I would need emergent tricuspid valve repair/replacement then upon wheeling me into the operating room I suffered three heart attacks and on the third one I coded out for approximately 10 mins. 8 mins or less I would've (should've) been fine according to the surgeon that operated on me, but those two extra minutes caused me to suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) resulting in loss of brain cells that control mobility which I am currently diagnosed with Parkinsonism (not the disease itself but the symptoms). I feel that the admitting team may have misdiagnosed the urgency of my situation which resulted in my current situation. My question is I understand there is a two year statute of limitation, but when does it start a. Back in 2005 b. when I realized that the admitting team misdiagnosed the urgency of the situation or c. When I am able to find in my records where the admitting team misdiagnosed the urgency of the situation?!?! Part two: As I had mentioned before, I suffered three heart attacks. Which caused me to develop Parkinsonism, but what I didn't mention was the excessive strain that it put on my heart which also weakened my heart to the point of transplantation as being an option. But my recovery process later progressed to the point a transplant was no longer considered. Then living with Atrial Fibralation, a weakened heart with an ejection fraction considered to be extremely low that approximately one year after surgery I had a pacemaker/defibrillator put in. Then in the end of 2011 my health took a sudden turn for the worst, due to all the complications that developed after the heart attacks. On March 9, 2012; I restarted the heart transplant program at UCSF by getting a new heart. Now upon waking up from the transplant surgery I have a numb tingling sensation that runs the entire length of my leg (only on the front). The doctors at UCSF have determined that possibly during the transplant a catheter was inserted in the leg that is numb and the catheter that is used is large enough to do this type of damage by cutting off the flow of blood to the nerve. Now my question is: do you think I'd be able to recover some type of compensation for this injury and who would I take to court the surgeon who performed the transplant, UCSF , or the UCSF Heart and Lung program? Side note: I have developed a relationship with many of the Doctors and Nurses involved in treating me, who wouldn't.??? So taking a specific person to court would be difficult. Thank you for your attention in this matter.... Regards, XXXXX XXXXX


Thank you for your question and I'm very sorry to hear about your injury.

The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim such as the one you are relating begins at the time when the incident happened. So in your case, the statute of limitations has already run. You can argue that it should not run until you "discovered" that there was a potential misdiagnosis issue. However, that runs on a "reasonable person" standard. Thus, you would have to show that a reasonable person would not have discovered the medical malpractice sooner. This will be a hard standard to meet in your case, as the situations which qualify are often referring to hidden misdiagnosis, which are not discovered until later at a routine medical check, etc.

In regard to your second injury, it is possible to claim medical malpractice for this type of incident if you can prove that the doctor who performed the catheter insertion did so in a negligent manner. Your claim must be supported by a doctor's expert opinion that the procedure was performed negligently. It is best to consult with a local medical malpractice attorney who generally employ doctors who can issue a preliminary opinion as to whether there is negligence which would justify a claim.

In the claim, you would sue the doctor directly, and probably the facility too. However, the primary responsibility lies on the doctor.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Please also remember to kindly rate my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating does not cause any additional charges and will not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
TexLaw and other Personal Injury Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi and thank you for your timely reply. I really appreciate it. I have an additional follow up question to my second injury; you said "In the claim, you would sue the doctor directly, and probably the facility too. However, the primary responsibility lies on the doctor." When you say th doctor are you referring to the heart transplant surgeon or the person with the responsibility of placing the catheter in my leg? Oh and 1 more question how much more time before the statues of limitation runs out on my second injury?

Thank you in advance.....


S. Lee
You would sue the doctor who placed the catheter. The heart surgeon may share in the liability if he/she had any responsibility for overseeing the catheter's placement or if he/she failed to monitor the condition of the catheter.

However, the statute of limitations is actually one year from the date of the injury, not two years, which means the deadline to file has already passed as of March 9, 2013. There maybe certain aspects of your case which would allow an extension of the deadline. In other words, you should consult with a local medical malpractice attorney ASAP to determine if one of the exceptions to the statute of limitations applies for the catheter injury.

TexLaw and other Personal Injury Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Would you possibly be interested in taking on my case?!?!

Thanks again....


S. Lee

I'm honored by your request. However, we are not allowed to represent any customers directly.

I hope my answers have helped and please feel free to ask any further questions you may have. Also, don't forget to rate my answer positively!

Thanks and Good Luck,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Can you please explain the reason why the statutes of limitations would end after one year in my second injury as oppose to two years in my first injury?!? Or am I mistaken....?

Thanks and sorry for all the additional questions...


S. Lee