Judge: Too Late to Sue for Misdiagnosis of HIV

A big court ruling involving a Lexington man who claimed UK doctors mistakenly told him he was HIV positive only to find out nearly a decade later, he wasn’t.
The question before the court: was the suit filed in time?
Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Clark said it has been too long for Bobby Russell to sue for medical malpractice.
Back in 2004, Russell said Doctors at the University of Kentucky Medical Center told him he was HIV positive.
He said he never saw the actual test results until last year.  He said when he finally saw them, the results were negative and so he sued.
Lawyers for UK said it was too late, that the statue of limitations had run out.
The limit is one year for medical malpractice claims in Kentucky.
Lawyers for the hospital claim Russell had doubts about a possible misdiagnosis years before he saw the negative results.
Russell’s lawyer argued, his client couldn’t have had a case until Russell had his test results in his hands.
Judge Clark released a written opinion stating he believes Russell’s claim is untimely.
“…it is clear that the plaintiff knew or should have known about the misdiagnosis before the mandated timeframe.  He knew he had been wronged and by whom.  Moreover, he had been informed by others that the doctors at UK had misdiagnosed him,” said Judge Clark’s written opinion.
This means the Judge believes there is enough proof Russell knew about a possible misdiagnosis earlier and that the civil case was filed too late.
Russell’s medical malpractice case will only go before a judge if Russell appeals and then wins. His attorneys have not decided if they will file an appeal.
UK sent out this response to the ruling:
“We are pleased that the Court has granted summary judgment to the University’s physicians. While this legal ruling was based on statute of limitations, we feel equally strong that the underlying allegations of misdiagnosis had no merit. The court record includes evidence that Mr. Russell has had 5 subsequent Western Blot tests that were positive for HIV after the very first Western Blot test was negative.”

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