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The importance of Case Filing Deadlines

The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are constantly warning the victims of defective medical devices and bad drugs not to wait to file a claim. Even a good claim can be lost forever if you wait too long. We were recently made aware of a woman who waited to serve a complaint in hopes of a settlement and lost her claim against DePuy Orthopaedics alleging a defective hip implant.

What is important about this case is she actually filed a claim within the two-year statute of limitations by two days. However, the last page of the complaint indicated she was “withholding service of process” in an effort to avoid expenses and facilitate settlement discussions.

After filing the complaint the plaintiff sent letters with copies of the complaint and a proposed tolling agreement to DePuy. A summons was not issued until months later, after the district court judge instructed Plaintiffs’ counsel that there is “no legal authority that permits them to file a complaint in federal court and then essentially sit on it until they decide that they are ready to move forth with the prosecution.”

After being served with the summons, DePuy answered and immediately moved for summary judgment. The district court found the plaintiff did not commence the action prior to Alabama’s two-year statute of limitations deadline and granted summary judgment in favor of DePuy. In doing so, the district court held that “Plaintiffs failed to commence their action when they filed the Complaint on December 23, 2015, because they did not immediately serve or have the intent to immediately serve the Defendant.”

This decision was upheld. The lesson to be learned from this case is that the mere filing may not constitute the commencement of the action, since there is no intent to prosecute the claim at that time. What does this mean to you? Do not wait to file a claim if you have been injured by a defective medical device or a bad drug. TheLawFirm.com offers free consultations.

Please contact us at 1(855) 464-0808 or for a free legal evaluation of your claims today!

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