Tennessee Statute Of Limitations Keeps Veterans Filing Suit


A recent ruling in Tennessee will keep veterans from receiving relief in a medical negligence case against the Veterans Affairs facilities (VA). Over 10,000 veterans were exposed to hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV after undergoing colonoscopies at VA hospitals and clinics.

The VA notified the veterans of their exposure in 2009. The exposure was a result of improper cleaning of tools used in the procedures. At this point in time at least 90 veterans have tested positive for one of the three diseases.

The victim in the court case had a colonoscopy conducted in 2006. The VA didn’t notify him of his exposure to the viruses until 2009. Ten months after the victim found out he had acquired hepatitis, he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the VA.

The case was dismissed on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired. In other words, ten months after he found out he was exposed was already too late to file a suit.

The VA is a federal agency, however, state laws govern medical negligence statute of limitations. Tennessee has one of the shortest statute of limitations in the country.

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