It’s a little over an hour’s drive north from Covington to find the suburban home of a retired Air Force colonel who is waiting to hear the Ohio Supreme Court rule on his medical malpractice case. The high court won’t be deciding whether or not the former colonel and airline pilot was harmed by a negligent surgeon, but whether or not he waited too long to file his claim against the Cleveland Clinic.
Ohio allows injured patients just four years to file medical malpractice claims. The former colonel was operated on in 2008 to remove a cancerous prostate gland. He says the botched surgery left him impotent, incontinent and incapable of continuing his career as a commercial airline pilot.
While his surgery was in 2008, the lawsuit before the court was filed earlier this year. The clinic says the delayed legal claim can no longer be heard because it was filed well beyond the four-year window. The former colonel says the clinic systematically denied him access to medical records, delaying the suit.
He first filed a medical malpractice claim against the clinic in 2010, but was blocked by the clinic from pursuing that case. He and his wife dropped the suit in 2011.
He told a Cleveland newspaper that there has been “so much obstruction” by the clinic to try to prevent him from bringing his claim; a claim he says deserves to be heard.
A spokesperson for the Cleveland Clinic says the lawsuit is “without merit” and that it expects the claim to be dismissed.
For those who believe they have been injured by medical malpractice, or might have been injured by a negligent doctor or hospital, a discussion with an experienced attorney can make legal options and deadlines clear.