Last month, the federal government announced it planned to file a lawsuit against Mark Fesen, an oncologist who previously worked at the Hutchinson Clinic. When Joanne Clarke first heard the news of the suit, she was brought to tears. This is because she was forced to remember the agonizing pain her husband had to endure after going through unnecessary chemotherapy.
Although the federal government will get an opportunity in court to seek justice for the alleged Medicare fraud related to unnecessary cancer treatments, hundreds of patients and their families are left with very little recourse under Kansas law.
Our attorney, Blake Shuart, recently spoke to The Kansas City Star about the federal lawsuit and according to him, the vast majority of Fesen’s patients will not have the ability to file a malpractice suit. This is because of two laws:
- The statute of limitations
- The statute of repose
When it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits, the statute of limitations require the case to be filed within 2 years of the incident. The statute of limitations can be extended if the person did not know they were the victims of malpractice at the time, but even with a an extension, Kansas has a four-year statute of repose that says medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within four years of the date of the negligence.
Because Fesen has practiced medicine in the state since 1993, he is likely to have thousands of patients who are ineligible to file a medical malpractice claim.
“The first thing on people’s minds when they’re injured and hurting is not usually filing a lawsuit, and unbeknownst to them, they’re faced with strict time limitations that end up damaging or ruining their case by the time they have to take action,” said attorney Shuart.
According to Mr. Shuart, “Legislators have decided they want health care providers to have some degree of predictability regarding how long they might have exposure for mistakes they’ve made, even if that means barring some claims that lead to unjust situations. They’ve determined that overall these laws benefit society by furthering the ability of health care providers to practice medicine.”
While Kansas’ statutes of limitations align with other states, the state’s low caps on damages and low insurance requirements make it harder for patients to receive compensation. In fact, the state of Kansas has one of the lowest caps on malpractice damages in the entire United States.
Speak to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Wichita Today
At Hutton & Hutton Law Firm, LLC, we offer skilled representation and legal advice to clients throughout Missouri. Although medical malpractice cases can be complicated, we aren’t afraid of a challenge. Our experienced lawyers will use our full resources to help you secure the compensation you deserve. Let us fight for you today!
Contact our Wichita medical malpractice attorneys to set up your free consultation today.