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Pieti and Eads Obtain Summary Disposition in Trial Court, Avoiding Precipitous Exposure and Liability

July 15, 2019

Anthony Pieti (Associate-Michigan) and John Eads (Partner-Michigan) recently obtained summary disposition in a complex legal malpractice action with an underlying medical malpractice and general negligence claim arising out of pediatric neurosurgery and the post-surgical follow-up care. The decedent’s estate alleged that one or both of the former attorneys, one of them our client, who represented the family at separate times but in succession failed to timely file a Notice of Intention to bring suit against the state institution. John and Anthony were able to show that the legal malpractice complaint was time barred because the estate’s subsequent attorney’s knowledge of the alleged failure to timely file the Notice of Intention was known, or should have been known, outside the six-month discovery window. The Court agreed with Anthony’s argument that the estate’s attorney knew about the possible legal malpractice action more than six months before filing the legal malpractice complaint, making the complaint time barred under MCL 600.5838. Further, Anthony convinced the court that the accrual date for filing the Notice of Intention for a general negligence claim began on the date of the surgery, which was more than six months before our client’s attorney-client relationship began, so there was no possible way our client could have filed the required Notice of Intention. Anthony’s argument on accrual date that was accepted by the court also led to the dismissal of all claims against the co-defendant despite the co-defendant’s own counsel avoiding the accrual date argument. 

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