Statute of limitations derails family’s malpractice claim against Florida radiologist, Mednax affiliate

A Florida appeals court has tossed one woman’s malpractice claim against a Florida radiologist because her legal team amended the complaint after the statute of limitations had expired.

The three-judge panel’s July 22 decision affirmed a previous ruling on the matter, Law360 reported. Stacey Castro had originally sued in 2015 and changed the complaint last year to add her three minor children as co-parties in the suit. But a Third Circuit Court of Appeals judge dismissed the amended suit since it stretched past the two-year statute.

An attorney representing physician Italo Linfante, his practice Radiology Associates of South Florida, and Baptist Hospital of Miami said the provider was “pleased” with the outcome.

"The correct result was reached and the Third [District Court of Appeals] opinion will serve as important legal precedent on this issue,” Jessica Gross told Law360 last week.

Castro in her claim had sited “unspecified injuries” due to “negligent” medical care delivered in 2011 and 2012. A subsequent amendment attempted to add her three children as plaintiffs, claiming the trio had been deprived of their mother because of the radiologist’s alleged negligence.

In appealing, the woman tried to use Florida’s “relation back” doctrine that allows someone to add a new claim in an amended complaint if it harks back to the original dispute. However, the panel disagreed, stating such a change called for a whole new complaint, based on previous case law.

Around since 1960, Radiology Associates of South Florida bills itself as the 10th largest practice in the U.S., employing 70 subspecialized physicians. Mednax acquired the firm back in 2017. Linfante, MD, serves as section chief in neurointerventional radiology, according to the practice’s website.

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