Allen to Present Seminar
at Advanced Medical Torts 2015;
A Texas Bar CLE

Marisa Schouten

Marisa Allen is presenting a seminar on statute of limitations at the 22nd Annual Advanced Medical Torts Course. The course is designed for advanced practitioners dealing with health care claims, and strives to bring current, relevant information to practicing attorneys. Over 20 top litigators in the medical torts field will speak on topics addressing legislative updates, emergency room cases, medical devices and more.

Allen’s presentation will focus on statute of limitations and statute of repose issues that uniquely effect medical claims in Texas. The presentation includes a seminar paper with updates such as the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Tenet Hosps. Ltd. v. Rivera, 445 S.W.3d 698 (Tex. 2014).

In Tenet Hospitals, an expectant mother was nine months pregnant when she checked in to, and was discharged from, the emergency room of a hospital despite complications. Id. at 700-01. She returned the following day, concerned about decreased fetal movement, and an emergency C-section was immediately performed. Id. The baby lacked oxygen and suffered permanent neurological disabilities. Id. The medical liability act contains an absolute ten year statute of repose, which requires all claimants to bring suit within 10 years of the date of injury, regardless of whether they are a child or mentally incompetent, or just unaware that an injury had occurred. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. §74.251(b).

Tenet Hospitals addresses an open courts, “as applied” challenge to the statute of repose on behalf of the baby. Tenet Hosps., 445 S.W.3d at 704-05. Ultimately, the Supreme Court declined to address whether the statute of repose is constitutional, and found instead that the open courts challenge to 74.251 (b) failed for lack of diligence. Id. The question of whether the statute of repose is constitutional with regard to minors remains open. These issues and more will be addressed in the statute of limitations seminar.

The course is a two-day seminar, and takes place in San Antonio, Texas from March 12-13, 2015. For more information about the seminar, and a schedule of events, click here.

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