New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling on Statute of Limitations

This week, the New Jersey Supreme Court published its opinion in Kendall v. Hoffman-LaRoche, its latest interpretation of the discovery rule in New Jersey. MSNJ filed an amicus brief in the case because the state courts’ expansion of the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits through the discovery rule is of great concern to physicians in the state of New Jersey. We are disappointed that the state’s highest court has again adopted an expansive view of “when the patient knew or should have known” that her injuries were related to the use of Accutane.

MSNJ’s participation in the case is part of our legal advocacy initiative to restrain further inappropriate extension of the statute of limitations. We believe that an expansive interpretation of the discovery rule has a direct impact on the cost of practicing medicine through increased professional liability premiums. The opinion sharpens our resolve to achieve tort reform through legislation.

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About MSNJ

Founded in 1766, the Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest professional society in the United States. The organization and its dues-paying members are dedicated to a healthy New Jersey, working to ensure the sanctity of the physician–patient relationship. In representing all medical disciplines, MSNJ advocates for the rights of patients and physicians alike, for the delivery of the highest quality medical care. This allows response to the patients’ individual, varied needs, in an ethical and compassionate environment, in order to create a healthy Garden State and healthy citizens.

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