Tuesday, March 25, 2008

N.D. Supreme Court sends suit back to district court

Herald Staff Reporter

The North Dakota Supreme Court has overturned a district court’s decision in Grand Forks, allowing a woman’s malpractice suit — against Altru Hospital in Grand Forks and a surgeon, Dr. Jamil Tareen, who worked for Altru in 2004 — to proceed.

The case is based on surgery performed by Tareen on Denise White in February 2004 in the First Care Health Center in Park River, N.D. Tareen did a laparotomy, or a surgical incision to White’s abdomen, to remove “extensive pelvic adhesions.” White sued Tareen and Altru, his employer at the time, for negligence because Tareen’s medical license was restricted at the time, a fact she said was concealed from her before her surgery, according to the Court’s decision filed Thursday.
White also alleged Tareen’s surgery caused an injury he failed to diagnose or treat. White served Altru with a complaint in February 2006. After an exchange of counter-claims and other documents, Altru moved for the case to be dismissed based on a statute about a certain required affidavit that was not filed in time by White.
State District Judge Debbie Kleven granted Altru’s motion to dismiss and then denied White’s three motions for reconsideration, to overthrow the judgment against her and to amend her complaint.
The Supreme Court’s decision was based on a complicated analysis of what state law and precedent applies in determining a statute of limitations on such lawsuits, and what that means for someone appealing a lower court’s decision.
All five justices agreed Kleven’s court had “abused its discretion by denying” in December 2006 White’s appeals of the dismissal. The Supreme Court reversed Kleven’s decision and sent the case back to district court for consideration.

No comments: