Featured Case: Shah v. Harris
This case was chosen by staff within the judicial branch as a useful tool to teach an interesting aspect of the law. Its selection has no bearing on how the case will ultimately be decided. Since the members of the court did not participate in the preparation of the lesson plan, the issues raised in it will not necessarily be addressed in the oral argument.
General Case Information
Kirit C. Shah, M.D., v. Stan Harris and Nancy Harris
Indiana Court of Appeals
Date and Time:
October 9, 2001, 1:00 PM
Statute of limitations, medical malpractice
Dr. Shah, a neurologist, began treating Mr. Harris in June 1991. In July 1991, Dr. Shah diagnosed Mr. Harris with multiple sclerosis. Dr. Shah treated Mr. Harris for this diagnosis until April 1993, at which point in time Dr. Shah moved away from the area. Mr. Harris subsequently sought treatment from other physicians for multiple sclerosis until, he alleges, he was correctly diagnosed with a vitamin B-12 deficiency in July 1998.
In July 2000, Mr. Harris and his wife filed a medical malpractice complaint against Dr. Shah with the Indiana Department of Insurance and the Vanderburgh Circuit Court alleging that Dr. Shah was negligent in diagnosing Mr. Harris. Dr. Shah filed a Motion for Summary Judgment arguing that the Harris' failed to file their complaint before the expiration of the two-year statute of limitations, which Dr. Shah argues was in April of 1995, two years after Dr. Shah and Mr. Harris ended their physician-patient relationship. The Harris' responded that they timely filed their medical malpractice complaint because they filed within two years of the first date upon which they could have known of Dr. Shah's alleged misdiagnosis. The trial court denied Dr. Shah's motion and he has appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
Shah v. Harris considers the issue of when a Medical Malpractice complaint is timely filed under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations, Indiana Code section 34-18-7-1. The oral argument will discuss that statute and the cases from the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court which have considered the statute under unique factual circumstances.
Case Briefs and Oral Argument
The Court's Action
November 16, 2001: The Court of Appeals affirms the trial court's decision.
May 17, 2002: The Supreme Court has denied a petition to transfer. The opinion of the Court of Appeals stands and the appeal is at an end.