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What is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Minnesota?
Like a number of states, Minnesota has passed a law, known
as a “statute of limitations,” which affects a plaintiff’s rights when it comes
to filing a medical
malpractice lawsuit in the state’s court system. Specifically, these laws
set a limit (expressed in years) on the amount of time you have to go to court and
get the case started -- in Minnesota, that means filing the initial complaint
and an affidavit
of merit stating that your attorney has reviewed your case with a qualified
expert witness who believes that your claims have merit .
Minnesota’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice
lawsuits can be found at Minnesota
Statutes section 541.076, and it states that “an action by a patient or former patient against a health
care provider alleging malpractice, error, mistake, or failure to cure…must be
commenced within four years from the
date the cause of action accrued,” meaning the date on which the defendant
committed the alleged medical
What if Minnesota’s four-year deadline has passed and you
try to file the lawsuit anyway? It’s a safe bet that the doctor or health care
facility you’re trying to sue will file a motion asking the court to dismiss
the case. The court will almost certainly grant the motion (unless an exception
applies; we’ll discuss those below) and that will be the end of the lawsuit. So
it’s crucial to pay attention to the statute of limitations as it applies to
Now, what about those exceptions to the running of the statute
of limitations? In Minnesota, they are set out in Minnesota Statutes
section 541.15. The most common exception comes into play when the prospective plaintiff
is under 18 years of age. In that case, the statute of limitations does not
start to run until the plaintiff reaches the age of 18, except that the suspension of the deadline
can’t be extended for more than seven years, or for more than one year after
the person has reached 18.
by: David Goguen,
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