Arteaga v. U.S.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Statute of Limitations
Case Number: 
No. 12-3189
Decision Date: 
April 1, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Dist. Ct. did not err in dismissing as untimely plaintiff’s claim under Federal Tort Claims Act, alleging that defendants, certain medical professionals at hospital that received grant money from U.S. Public Health Service, failed to properly diagnose certain symptoms of her pregnancy that resulted in injuries to her child, where instant complaint was filed almost six years after birth of child. Instant claim was governed by 2-year statute of limitations, as opposed to 8-year limitations period under Illinois law for injuries to minors, since plaintiff could only file claim under FTCA. Ct. rejected plaintiff’s contention that claim did not accrue until she learned that defendants could be sued in malpractice only under FTCA since: (1) record showed that plaintiff was initially diligent in consulting first lawyer, but let matters lapse for long periods of time before seeking three other attorneys prior to filing her case; and (2) any failure of plaintiff’s lawyers to recognize that two-year period applied in instant matter did not serve to equitably toll limitations period, but rather provided plaintiff with potential for legal malpractice action.