Torts II

Discovery Doctrine

Under the discovery doctrine, the cause of action accrues and the statute of limitations commences to run when the patient discovers, or in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence for his own health and welfare, should have discovered the resulting injury.

The majority applies the discovery doctrine in all medical malpractice cases.

Under the discovery doctrine, the claim accrues when the plaintiff first discovers some form of actionable harm, not when he learns the fullest manifestation of the harm.

  • This is excepted to in asbestos cases, where a plaintiff can sue again when diagnosed with a separate injury.