Ohio Appellate Court Rules Negligent Credentialing Claims Filed Too Late

The Ohio First District Court of Appeals (“Ohio Appellate Court”) held in its opinion filed on March 12, 2021 that the five consolidated appeals in the several hundred cases involving alleged medical malpractice by defendant Abubakar Atiq Durrani, M.D. (“Durrani”) were barred by the four-year medical-malpractice statute of repose.

The Appellants were five former patients of Durrani, a spinal surgeon who formerly operated at defendant-appellee The Christ Hospital (“TCH”). The Appellants had underwent various spinal surgeries with Durrani between April 2007 and April 2009. The Appellants alleged that their surgeries were among the hundreds of medically unnecessary surgeries performed by Durrani.

The Appellants claimed that TCH negligently credentialed, supervised, and retained Durrani as a credentialed physician. The Appellants alleged that TCH failed to adequately evaluate Durrani’s educational background, work history, and peer reviews when he applied for privileges at TCH. The Appellants further alleged that TCH knew about Durrani’s fraudulent scheme, and yet, continued granting him surgical privileges and allowing him to operate at its facilities. According to the Appellants, TCH willfully disregarded complaints about Durrani reported by its staff, doctors, and patients; ignored complaints pertaining to Durrani’s privileged time at other area hospitals; and settled several cases involving Durrani’s alleged misconduct. The Appellants ultimately contended that TCH allowed and encouraged Durrani’s conduct in order to enhance its revenues.

One of the Appellants filed her complaint in May 2015 and the other four Appellants filed their respective complaints in December 2018. In each case, TCH filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the claims were filed outside the four-year medical malpractice statute of repose. Agreeing with TCH, the trial court found the Appellants’ claims were barred by the statute of repose and dismissed all of the cases with prejudice. All five plaintiffs appealed and their appeals were consolidated.

Ohio Statute Of Repose For Medical Malpractice Claims

Section 2305.113 Medical malpractice actions states, in part:

(C) Except as to persons within the age of minority or of unsound mind as provided by section 2305.16 of the Revised Code, and except as provided in division (D) of this section, both of the following apply:

(1) No action upon a medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim shall be commenced more than four years after the occurrence of the act or omission constituting the alleged basis of the medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim.

(2) If an action upon a medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim is not commenced within four years after the occurrence of the act or omission constituting the alleged basis of the medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim, then, any action upon that claim is barred.

The Ohio Appellate Court stated that it “decline[d] appellants’ invitation to create a fraud or equitable estoppel exception to R.C. 2305.113(C)” and held “appellants’ fraud claims are “medical claims” subject to the four-year statute of repose.”

Source Couch v. Durrani, 2021-Ohio-726.

If you or a loved one may have been injured as a result of medical malpractice in Ohio or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 at 5:29 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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