Feds asks Mississippi court to clarify med-mal limits

Statutes of limitations can be key in determining whether some malpractice cases move forward or are dead in the water, so a federal appeals panel has asked the Mississippi Supreme Court in Jackson to clarify when the clock starts ticking for medical malpractice claims.

A panel of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals released a statement saying it has asked the court to specify how lower courts should apply the statute of limitations. Specifically, the panel wants to know how Mississippi's statute of limitations applies in circumstances "where the alleged negligence is either the administration of a drug by a physician or the physician's failure to disclose about the risks of a drug, and experts disagree as to whether the drug caused the plaintiff's injuries." The question was prompted by a Fifth Circuit case in which the court overturned a medical malpractice verdict because the statute had run out. The plaintiff disputed how the statute should apply to the circumstances of her case.