Beebe v. Eisemann

Plaintiff appealed the trial court's dismissal of his medical malpractice action for failing to satisfy the applicable statute of limitations. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant Allan Eisemann, M.D., practicing through a medical practice which bore his name, negligently failed to advise Plaintiff or his dentist of the known risks associated with a tooth extraction while Plaintiff was taking intervenous doses of a medication called "Zometa," prescribed for multiple myleoma. Defendant allegedly approved the procedure; Plaintiff's dentist pulled the tooth. Following the procedure, Plaintiff developed osteonecrosis of the jaw. All parties agreed that the statute of limitations period for Plaintiff's malpractice claims would expire October 9, 2009. By a letter dated in September, Plaintiff's counsel proposed to Dr. Eisemann's counsel and other potential defendants a "time out" agreement to toll the statute of limitations for ninety days so that the parties could pursue settlement. Although Dr. Eisemann signed off on the agreement, not all defendants did. As a result of Plaintiff's failure to reach an agreement with all defendants, Plaintiff filed suit on October 7, 2009. Counsel for Dr. Eisemann returned the acceptance of service to Plaintiff's counsel in January, 2010. Plaintiff did not filed the acceptance with the court at that time. The trial court dismissed the case on its own motion on April 15, 2011 based on Plaintiff's failure to prosecute his claim. Three days later, Plaintiff filed the signed acceptances of service. Dr. Eisemann moved to dismiss. On appeal, Plaintiff argued that the Eisemann defendants are equitably estopped from invoking the statute of limitations. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that Plaintiff could not rely on the doctrine of equitable estoppel because his own "omissions or inadvertences" contributed to the problem. Accordingly, the Court affirmed dismissal of his case. View "Beebe v. Eisemann" on Justia Law