Articles Posted in Washington Supreme Court

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Linda Mohr suffered a trauma-induced stroke and became permanently disabled. She and her husband, Charles, claimed that negligent treatment by her health care providers caused Mrs. Mohr a loss of the chance of a better outcome. In "Herskovits v. Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound," the Supreme Court recognized the "lost chance doctrine" in a survival action when the plaintiff died following the alleged failure of his doctor to timely diagnose his lung cancer. The Mohr's case "compel[led]" consideration of whether, in the medical malpractice context, there was a cause of action for a lost chance, even when the ultimate result is some serious harm short of death. The Supreme Court held that there was such a cause of action and, accordingly, reversed the order of summary judgment. View "Mohr v. Grantham" on Justia Law

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Central to this case is the proper interpretation of a 2006 statute of limitations and statute of repose applicable to a claim for medical malpractice. Appellant Lisa Unruh filed suit against her orthodontist, Dr. Dino Cacchiotti, alleging that his negligent treatment when she was a minor resulted in her losing her teeth and having to undergo extensive implant surgery. The Doctor successfully moved for summary judgment, contending that the statute of limitations had expired. At the Court of Appeals, the Doctor raised an alternative ground for dismissing Appellant's case based on an eight-year statute of repose. After requesting supplemental briefing, the Court of Appeals certified the case for the Supreme Court's review. After review of the applicable legal authority, the Court held that neither the statute of limitations nor the statute of repose barred Appellant's claim. The Court reversed the trial court's decision and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Unruh v. Cacchiotti" on Justia Law