In its opinion filed on March 12, 2021 in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that the two-year statute of limitations in Iowa for medical malpractice claims did not apply to her claims arising out of medical services provided to her at a local medical spa, the Supreme Court of Iowa held: “Kostoglanis is the master of her pleadings and may assert the causes of action as she sees fit. Her right to bring causes of action for negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, and breach of contract are not at issue in this case. What is at issue is the statute of limitations applicable to each of the causes of action asserted. In answering that question, we look to the substance and not the form of the causes of action. Kostoglanis’s negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, and breach of contract claims are each predicated on injuries arising out of the doctor–patient relationship and the patient care defendants provided or allegedly failed to provide to her. Kostoglanis could not establish liability for any of her claims without first establishing that Yates lacked the qualifications to perform the procedures and that Yates failed to perform the procedures within the accepted standard of care. Kostoglanis’s claims are thus subject to the two-year statute of limitations set forth in Iowa Code section 614.1(9) and are untimely. The district court correctly granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.”
The Underlying Facts
In June 2015, Dr. LeRoy Yates provided medical services to Christine Kostoglanis at Diamond Medical Spa and Vein, including liposuction and adipose derived mesenchymal stem cell transfer procedures. Within days of the procedures, Kostoglanis contacted Diamond Medical with concerns regarding the procedures, her wound, and postoperative wound care. Unsatisfied with the response, Kostoglanis sought a second opinion and began treating with a wound clinic in July. Three years later, in June 2018, Kostoglanis filed this suit against Yates and Diamond Medical, asserting claims for negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, and breach of contract. On the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the district court held Kostoglanis’s causes of action, however styled, arose out of patient care and were barred by the two-year statute of limitations governing malpractice actions in Iowa Code section 614.1(9) (2015). Kostoglanis filed an appeal.
Iowa Statute Of Limitations
Iowa Code section 614.1 provides:
Actions may be brought within the times herein limited, respectively, after their causes accrue, and not afterwards, except when otherwise specially declared:
. . . .
4. Unwritten contracts—injuries to property—fraud—other actions. Those founded on unwritten contracts, those brought for injuries to property, or for relief on the ground of fraud in cases heretofore solely cognizable in a court of chancery, and all other actions not otherwise provided for in this respect, within five years, except as provided by subsections 8 and 10.
5. Written contracts—judgments of courts not of record—recovery of real property and rent.
a. Except as provided in paragraph “b”, those founded on written contracts, or on judgments of any courts except those provided for in subsection 6, and those brought for the recovery of real property, within ten years.
. . . .
a. . . . those founded on injuries to the person . . . against any physician and surgeon . . . arising out of patient care, within two years after the date on which the claimant knew, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known . . . the injury or death for which damages are sought in the action . . . .
Kostoglanis had argued that the applicable limitation periods were the five-year and ten-year periods in subsections (4) and (5). The defendants contended, and the district court held, each of Kostoglanis’s causes of action arose out of patient care and the applicable limitations period is the two-year period in subsection (9). The Supreme Court of Iowa agreed with the defendants.
Source Kostoglanis v. Yates, No. 19–2078.
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