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Steven J. Klearman
Steven J. Klearman
Attorney • (800) 880-5297

Statute of Limitations in Nevada Medical Malpractice Cases

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Nevada’s 2004 ballot initiative, concieved and created by the U.S. medical malpractice insurance lobby, and naively passed by Nevada’s voters (who thought that they were voting to “keep doctors from moving out of Nevada”),contains a new one-year statute of limitations that severely curtails the rights of Nevada’s medical malpractice victims.

Nevada statute 41A.097 provides:

1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, an action for injury or death against a provider of health care may not be commenced more than 4 years after the date of injury or 2 years after the plaintiff discovers or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered the injury, whichever occurs first, for:

(a) Injury to or the wrongful death of a person occurring before October 1, 2002, based upon alleged professional negligence of the provider of health care;

(b) Injury to or the wrongful death of a person occurring before October 1, 2002, from professional services rendered without consent; or

(c) Injury to or the wrongful death of a person occurring before October 1, 2002, from error or omission in practice by the provider of health care.

2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, an action for injury or death against a provider of health care may not be commenced more than 3 years after the date of injury or 1 year after the plaintiff discovers or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered the injury, whichever occurs first, for:

(a) Injury to or the wrongful death of a person occurring on or after October 1, 2002, based upon alleged professional negligence of the provider of health care;

(b) Injury to or the wrongful death of a person occurring on or after October 1, 2002, from professional services rendered without consent; or

(c) Injury to or the wrongful death of a person occurring on or after October 1, 2002, from error or omission in practice by the provider of health care.

3. This time limitation is tolled for any period during which the provider of health care has concealed any act, error or omission upon which the action is based and which is known or through the use of reasonable diligence should have been known to him.

4. For the purposes of this section, the parent, guardian or legal custodian of any minor child is responsible for exercising reasonable judgment in determining whether to prosecute any cause of action limited by subsection 1 or 2. If the parent, guardian or custodian fails to commence an action on behalf of that child within the prescribed period of limitations, the child may not bring an action based on the same alleged injury against any provider of health care upon the removal of his disability, except that in the case of:

(a) Brain damage or birth defect, the period of limitation is extended until the child attains 10 years of age.

(b) Sterility, the period of limitation is extended until 2 years after the child discovers the injury.

This statute, which purports to affect cases retroactively, will no doubt be the subject of legal challenges. In the meantime, Nevada’s medical malpractice victims must act quickly to obtain counsel and have their cases evaluated. Delay is no longer an option.