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Title XXXV CIVIL PROCEDURE AND LIMITATIONS

  Chapter 516back to chapter 516

  516.105.  Actions against health care and mental health providers (medical malpractice). — 1.  All actions against physicians, hospitals, dentists, registered or licensed practical nurses, optometrists, podiatrists, pharmacists, chiropractors, professional physical therapists, mental health professionals licensed under chapter 337, and any other entity providing health care services and all employees of any of the foregoing acting in the course and scope of their employment, for damages for malpractice, negligence, error or mistake related to health care shall be brought within two years from the date of occurrence of the act of neglect complained of, except that:

  (1)  In cases in which the act of neglect complained of is introducing and negligently permitting any foreign object to remain within the body of a living person, the action shall be brought within two years from the date of the discovery of such alleged negligence, or from the date on which the patient in the exercise of ordinary care should have discovered such alleged negligence, whichever date first occurs; and

  (2)  In cases in which the act of neglect complained of is the negligent failure to inform the patient of the results of medical tests, the action for failure to inform shall be brought within two years from the date of the discovery of such alleged negligent failure to inform, or from the date on which the patient in the exercise of ordinary care should have discovered such alleged negligent failure to inform, whichever date first occurs; except that, no such action shall be brought for any negligent failure to inform about the results of medical tests performed more than two years before August 28, 1999.  For purposes of this subdivision, the act of neglect based on the negligent failure to inform the patient of the results of medical tests shall not include the act of informing the patient of the results of negligently performed medical tests or the act of informing the patient of erroneous test results; and

  (3)  In cases in which the person bringing the action is a minor less than eighteen years of age, such minor shall have until his or her twentieth birthday to bring such action.

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In no event shall any action for damages for malpractice, error, or mistake be commenced after the expiration of ten years from the date of the act of neglect complained of or for two years from a minor's eighteenth birthday, whichever is later.

  2.  Any service on a defendant by a plaintiff after the statute of limitations set forth in subsection 1 of this section has expired or after the expiration of any extension of the time provided to commence an action pursuant to law shall be made within one hundred eighty days of the filing of the petition.  If such service is not made on a defendant within one hundred eighty days of the filing of the petition, the court shall dismiss the action against the defendant.  The dismissal shall be without prejudice unless the plaintiff has previously taken or suffered a nonsuit, in which case the dismissal shall be with prejudice.

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(L. 1976 S.B. 470 § 2, A.L. 1999 H.B. 274, A.L. 2005 H.B. 393, A.L. 2016 H.B. 1765, A.L. 2018 S.B. 871)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Applicability of statute changes to cases filed after August 28, 2005, 538.305

(1985) The reduction of the limitation period for medical malpractice actions should be applicable only to claims where the alleged act of malpractice occurred after the effective date of the section. Goodman v. St. Louis Children's Hosp., 687 S.W.2d 889 (Mo. banc).

(1985) The ten-year maximum was designed to limit the "foreign object" exception to the two year statute, and not to limit the time within which an infant who suffers damage from malpractice within his first two years may file suit. McLeran v. St. Luke's Hosp. of Kansas City, 687 S.W.2d 892 (Mo. banc).

(1996) Actions brought pursuant to this section are not tolled under 516.170.  Batek v. Curators of Univ. of Mo., 920 S.W.2d 895 (Mo. banc).

(2015) Ten-year statute of repose could not be equitably tolled and does not violate constitutional provisions of equal protection, open courts, due process, or special laws.  Ambers-Phillips v. SSM DePaul Health Cent. 459 S.W.3d 901 (Mo. banc).


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516.105 8/28/2018
516.105 8/28/2016 8/28/2018
516.105 8/28/2005 8/28/2016

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