The Fourth Department, reversing the Court of Claims, determined that the notice of intent was timely and the notice of intent and the claim are not jurisdictionally defective in this medical malpractice action against the state. The claimant was an inmate when he underwent hip replacement surgery. The claim alleged inadequate treatment led to infection, requiring further surgeries. The date of the accrual of the action was tolled by continuous treatment, and some mistakes concerning the nature of the injuries (i.e., left hip versus right hip) did not prejudice the defendant:
Generally, a medical malpractice claim accrues on the date of the alleged malpractice, but the statute of limitations is tolled “until the end of the course of continuous treatment” … . That toll likewise applies to the time periods contained in Court of Claims Act § 10 (3) … . Here, the record establishes that claimant was receiving ongoing treatment for his left hip replacement during postoperative follow-up visits through June 12, 2014, when he was transported to a hospital for treatment of the infection that developed at the incision site, which had not been diagnosed during those follow-up visits. We thus conclude that the notice of intent, filed and served on August 22, 2012, was timely inasmuch as it was filed and served within ninety days of the accrual of the claim. The fact that the claim listed a different date of the alleged injury than the notice of intent is a matter related to the contents of the documents, not their timeliness.
We recognize that, generally, the failure to treat a condition is not considered continuous treatment so as to toll the statute of limitations … . In such cases, however, there is a lack of awareness of a need for further treatment and thus no concern relating to the interruption of corrective medical treatment … . Here, claimant was already being treated for the surgical incision that eventually became infected and, therefore, “further treatment [was] explicitly anticipated by both [defendant’s medical staff] and [claimant,] as manifested in form of . . . regularly scheduled appointment[s]” to monitor the incision and remove staples … . Moreover, this is not truly a failure-to-treat case inasmuch as defendant’s employees did, in fact, attempt to treat the incision area by applying ointment and dressing the area. Gang v State of New York, 2019 NY Slip Op 08041, Fourth Dept 11-8-19