Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ohio’s Saving Statute

Mays v. Toledo Hospital, 2015 Ohio 1865 – Ohio: Court of Appeals, 6th Appellate Dist. 2015

This was a case for a wrongful death action and the Court held that Ohio’s saving statute does not apply to allow a person to bring a claim for wrongful death for a third time.

The first time that the case was brought by the pro se plaintiff, the Court dismissed the complaint finding that the claims were required to be brought by an attorney and that the complaint lacked an affidavit of merit pursuant to Civ.R. 10(D)(2). The Court found that Ohio’s saving statute may be used only once to refile a case and that it cannot be used to keep actions alive indefinitely. The Court went onto state that to allow a plaintiff to use R.C. 2305.19 more than once would frustrate the purpose of the civil rules which are intended to prevent indefinite filings.

A review of the procedural posture of this case is a good reminder of why it is so important for people with potential claims to speak with an experienced attorney and to seek help with their case. There are a myriad of complicated procedural rules that must be followed when bringing a wrongful death action based on medical malpractice. In this age of Google, many people read about how something is done on the internet and think that they can go ahead and do it themselves. There is nothing wrong with a party going pro se in limited circumstances, but in actions such as medical malpractice and wrongful death it is imperative to hire experienced counsel.

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