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What is The Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Actions in West Virginia?

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On May 19, 2016, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia handed down an important decision in Williams v. CMO Management, which could affect many long-term care facilities in the state. The Court held that the tolling provisions of the general disability savings statute apply to a medical malpractice cause of action brought by a personal representative, reversing the circuit court’s ruling which applied the West Virginia Medical Professional Liability Act (“MPLA”) two-year statute of limitations to preclude evidence of negligence that allegedly occurred more than two years before the plaintiff brought suit. 

The court’s decision hinged on many factors including:

  • Mental capacity of the patient
  • If there is a guardian appointed for the patient at the time of injury
  • If a Medical Power of Attorney exists
  • If injuries could reasonably have been discovered

Steptoe & Johnson attorneys continue to monitor the effect of this decision and will provide updates as appropriate.  We have also prepared a more in-depth analysis of this case that we will be happy to share with concerned long-term care administrators.  To receive a copy of the analysis, please contact the authors of this alert listed on the right