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Maine Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Tests Statute Of Limitations

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The case between Philip Baker and Dr. Merrill Farrand Jr., has far reaching implications to the state of Maine and the three-year statute of limitations regarding medical malpractice.

An attorney for the plaintiff, Baker, said that the “issue that has always lurked in the background is the situation in which a patient is told to have a test, gets that test and for one reason or another the test is abnormal but the doctor doesn’t act on it. That doctor continues to treat the patient for a period of years, seeing the patient each year, seeing the abnormal test each year but continuing not to act on it.”

According to the original lawsuit, between 1996 and 2006, Baker was regularly screened for prostate disease. Normal prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test results are 0-4. In 2001, Baker’s PSA results were 3.8, then 5.7 in 2002, and then 7.7 in 2006. At that point Farrand referred Baker to a urologist who diagnosed prostate cancer. Baker than filed a medical malpractice suit.

Farrand’s attorney moved for dismissal, since the neglect occurred in 2002, well past the 3-year statute of limitations. In Maine, the clock for the statute of limitation begins the moment of the neglect.

However, Baker said the neglect occurred over a 4-year period between 2002 and 2006.

The Maine Supreme Court vacated a lower court’s ruling saying that under the “Continuing Negligent Treatment Doctrine, a patient can bring a claim based on two or more related negligent acts, if some, but not all of the acts occurred outside the three-year statute of limitations, the Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported.

Baker’s case is the first time the court has used the CNTD, and will now move to trial. disclaimer: This article: Maine Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Tests Statute Of Limitations was posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2011 at 7:07 pm at and is filed under Medical Malpractice Lawsuits.

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