Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in Alabama

My mother-in-law got gastric bypass a few years ago. She was perfectly fine until recently. A couple days ago her belly button started rupturing with blood and puss; in addition, she has also gotten sick. She went to a doctor and they said the surgeon who preformed the gastric bypass stiched her stomach back up with the wrong stiches. I believe the reason she has recently gotten sick could be due to an infection from the stiches.

Would this be a legitimate law suit even though the gastric bypass surgery happened a few years ago? Moreover, the original doctor who preformed the surgery no longer practices in Alabama, he actually lost his license.

Asked on 2/17/10, 5:10 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Steven Harris Harris Firm LLC

In order to prove medical malpractice in Alabama you have to prove the following: 1) that health care provider had a duty to the patient; 2) that they breached that duty; 3) that the patient suffered an injury; and 4) that the injury was a proximate cause of the health care providers breach. The issue you would have is whether what is called the Statute of Limitations has already ran out. You have two years from the act or omission giving rise to the claim to file a lawsuit. In this case that would mean you have two years from the date of the procedure. However, if the cause of action was not discovered or could not reasonably have been discovered within the two year period, then a suit can be commenced within 6 months of the date of such discovery or within 6 months of the date of learning of certain facts that would reasonably lead to such discovery, whichever is earliest. As you can tell, this is a fairly complex legal issue and you only have a limited amount of time if you wish to pursue legal action. If you wish to speak with an attorney about this issue you should call and set up an appointment with a lawyer in your area. If you wish to speak with me about this issue then you can go to my website for my contact information to set up a free phone or office consultation.

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Answered on 2/22/10, 6:37 pm

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