Per N.C. Gen. Stat. 1-15(c) and N.C. Gen. Stat. 1-52(16), the statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits in North Carolina is generally three years, though in certain exceptional circumstances, it could be 10 years. Those timelines are from the date the injury occurs or from the date the injury is discovered (or could reasonably have been discovered) or the cause of injury became known.
However, plaintiffs need to be aware that the rules are different if the case is being filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Why would a medical malpractice case be filed in federal court? The answer has to do with how hospitals and other facilities are funded. If they receive federal grant funding from the U.S. Public Health Services program, the hospital and its programs would fall under the umbrella of FTCA. This means that instead of the three years North Carolina plaintiffs would normally have to file, they’ll only get two years.
In the recent case of Blanche v. U.S., this statutory timeline became the primary roadblock between plaintiff, whose daughter was diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy after suffering a birth injury, and compensation for that injury. Continue reading