Illinois Supreme Court Applies Discovery Rule to Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Actions

The Illinois Supreme Court in RANDALL W. MOON, v. CLARISSA F. RHODE recently ruled that the discovery rule contained in Section 13-212(a) of the Illinois Combined Statutes applies to medical malpractice cases based on the Wrongful Death Act and the Illinois Survival Act.  Previously, while there was arguably a dispute among appellate courts on this question, a number of courts had ruled that the occurrence of a patient’s death placed the estate on notice that malpractice may have occurred and the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice action began to run upon the death.  That is no longer the law.  While the court did not rule in Moon as to whether the facts of that case would have reasonably placed the attorney claimant on notice of potential malpractice, it held that that discovery rule would apply to toll the statute of limitations.  Click here to read the opinion.