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Massachusetts Medical Liability/Malpractice Statutes of Limitation
All states have set deadlines for when a patient may file a civil claim, known as statutes of limitation, for medical liability and malpractice claims. The majority of the states have special provisions regarding the time limits for minors to file medical liability and malpractice claims. Twenty-two states have special provisions regarding foreign objects.
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 260, §4 and ch. 231, §60D Within three years after the cause of action accrues, but in no event shall any such action be commenced more than seven years after occurrence of the act or omission which is the alleged cause of the injury upon which such action is based except where the action is based upon the leaving of a foreign object in the body. Minors under the full age of 6: shall have until 9th birthday in which the action may be commenced, but in no event shall any such action be commenced more than seven years after occurrence of the act or omission which is the alleged cause of the injury upon which such action is based except where the action is based upon the leaving of a foreign object in the body.
Massachusetts Medical Liability/Medical Malpractice Laws
Damage Award Limit or Cap
Ch. 231 §60H. $500,000 limit for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, embarrassment and other items of general damages unless there is a determination that there is a substantial or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function or substantial disfigurement, or other special circumstances. Except as provided, if two or more plaintiffs have received verdicts or findings of such damages in a total amount, for all plaintiffs claiming damages from a single occurrence, transaction, act of malpractice, or injury which exceeds $500,000, the amount of such damages recoverable by each plaintiff will be reduced to a percentage of $500,000 proportionate to that plaintiff’s share of the total amount of such damages for all plaintiffs.
Limits on Attorney Fees
Ch. 231 §60I. No contingent fee agreement, shall be enforced, and no attorney shall recover a fee thereunder, as a result of services rendered in an action against a provider of health care for malpractice, negligence, error, omission, mistake, or the unauthorized rendering of professional services if, at the time of judgment, the court determines that the amount of the recovery paid or to be paid to the plaintiff, after deduction of the attorney’s reasonable expenses and disbursements for which the plaintiff is liable and the amount of the attorney’s fee, is less than the total amount of the plaintiff’s unpaid past and future medical expenses included in the recovery, unless the contingent attorney’s fee: (a) is 20 percent or less of the plaintiff’s recovery; (b) is reduced to 20 percent or less of the plaintiff’s recovery; or (c) is reduced to a level which permits the plaintiff to be paid his unpaid past and future medical expenses included in the recovery. Sliding scale, not to exceed 40 percent of first $150,000; 33-1/3 percent of next $150,000; 30 percent of next $200,000 and 25 percent of award over $500,000.
No applicable statute.
Patient Compensation or Injury Fund
Medical or Peer Review Panels
Ch. 111 §203 et seq. Medical peer review committees