Texas Supreme Court Upholds Malpractice Reform Law
side note: On the surface, this looks like a harsh ruling, but it does affirm the bulletproof nature of Texas’ tort reforms. Many states would like to see their tort reforms stand up to this kind of scrutiny.
Patients in Texas must file malpractice claims within 10 years of when an alleged negligence occurred and within 2 years of discovering an injury, according to a pair of unanimous decisions handed down by the state supreme court last week.
Both rulings involved cases of surgical sponges being left behind in patients’ bodies and centered on Texas’ Open Court Provision, which declares a 10-year last-chance deadline for all malpractice cases and establishes a 2-year statue of limitations on malpractice lawsuits.
In Walters v. Cleveland Regional Medical Center, Shirley Kiefer, and Keith Spooner, MD, the supreme court ruled in favor of Tangie Walters — who learned she had a sponge lodged against her small intestine 9-and-a-half years after undergoing a tubal ligation procedure — because she filed suit 2 months after the sponge was discovered.