People suffering from mental illnesses often require medication to manage their symptoms and enable them to lead typical lives. Thus, if a doctor fails to prescribe a patient necessary psychiatric medication and the patient suffers harm as a result, it may constitute medical malpractice. In Maryland, medical malpractice claims generally must be filed within three years of the date of the alleged injury. While the statute of limitations can be tolled for certain reasons, such as the plaintiff’s mental incapacity, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving it would be unjust to bar claims as untimely, as discussed in a recent Maryland psychiatric malpractice case. If you were hurt by a negligent mental health professional, it is in your best interest to speak to a Maryland psychiatric malpractice lawyer about your possible claims.
The Plaintiff’s Allegations
It is reported that the plaintiff was released from a medical center without necessary psychiatric medication. The defendant was the head liaison for the center. The plaintiff subsequently suffered severe withdrawal symptoms, which he argued led to erratic behavior and his subsequent arrest and incarceration. Thus, he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging his negligent care caused the plaintiff to suffer irreparable harm. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, but the court denied it. After discovery, he moved for dismissal via summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations.
Tolling the Statute of Limitations for Equitable Reasons
After reviewing the pleadings and discovery, the court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. In Maryland, the statute of limitations for the plaintiff’s claims was three years from the date of the occurrence. The court explained that the date of accrual of a claim arises occurs when the plaintiff has sufficient facts about the harm he suffered so that a reasonable inquiry will reveal his cause of action. The statute of limitations may be tolled, however, if factors other than the plaintiff’s conduct would make it unconscionable to enforce the limitations period. Continue Reading