Idaho Law Blog


Basic tips for bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Idaho:


Time Limits

In Idaho, there are three key time limits that a patient needs to be aware of in bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit. First, if the hospital is a governmental entity, such as a county hospital, there is a 180 day notice of tort claim deadline. Second, before a lawsuit is filed, you have to file for a review with the Idaho State Board of Medicine's Pre-Litigation Screening Panel. Third, generally speaking, you only have two years from the date of the alleged negligence within which to actually file a lawsuit. Do not delay, as these deadlines are all critical.


Case Evaluation

Your prospective lawyer will want to review the details of the case. He or she will first need to look at all of the relevant medical records. The lawyer will need to see if the records document anything that may have been done wrong. The lawyer will next want to have an expert in the particular medical field review the records to see if a case can be proven. Finally, the lawyer will want to evaluate the injuries the alleged negligence caused to get an idea of the possible areas of damages.


Case Process

If your lawyer accepts your case, he or she will file the proper paperwork with the Idaho State Board of Medicine. Then, after an advisory decision is issued, the lawyer must wait 30 days, and then a lawsuit can be filed. Once a lawsuit is filed, each side will send the other written information requests, called discovery requests. Your lawyer will depose the opposing witnesses and you will be deposed by the defendant's lawyers as well. The case will be set for a trial, usually about a year to year-and-a-half down the road. As discovery proceeds, the other side may want to settle, if not the case proceeds to trial. Experts will be called on the standard of care, injuries, and damages. A verdict will be reached, which can then be appealed. This is a long process and requires patience.

Additional Resources

Idaho State Board of Medicine; American Association for Justice; Idaho Trial Lawyers Association


The New York Daily News has reported that a 34 year old Brooklyn mom who lost her legs in a botched procedure was awarded $62 million. The patient went in for what should have been a routine procedure (a laparoscopic removal of an ectopic pregnancy), but developed a catasrophic infection resulting in the amputation of both of her legs at the knees.   Read the full story here:

This summer, a Maryland jury awarded $20.9 million in a case involving a negligently handled shoulder dystocia during labor and delivery.  In this case of obstetrical malpractice, a six year old boy had suffered permanent paralysis in his left arm when the obsterician pulled on his head during delivery.  The young boy's arm is now described as smaller than his other arm and severely lacking in functionality.  The case is Arnett et al. v. Vinayakom et al., Case #CAL10-02954, PG County Circuit Court, Maryland, as reported in Maryland Lawyer, June 18, 2012.

$50M awarded over birth defect; test said baby would be OK

The Seattle Times is reporting that a King County jury awarded $50 million to a couple whose son was born with profound mental and physical disabilities after concluding that Valley Medical Center and LabCorp mishandled a genetic test.  View the full article at The Seattle Times.

A Maryland jury has awarded $55 million to a local couple in a medical malpractice lawsuit against Johns Hopkins Hospital for events surrounding the birth of their son. According to the lawsuit, the woman was rushed to the hospital for an emergency Caesarean section, but was then forced to wait two hours to have the procedure. The couple's son was born with severe physical and mental disorders as a result of loss of oxygen during that two hour period, the suit contended.  Yvonne Wenger and Kevin Rector, Baltimore Sun  06/26/2012
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