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Yesterday started much like any other, but a lot had changed by the time it ended. I took the kids to school as usual, then my wife and I spent a few hours cleaning the house. I was working on May's budget when my wife noticed a missed call and a voicemail from her lawyer. My wife sustained a spinal cord injury during a surgical procedure in 2015 and she had filed a malpractice lawsuit a little over a year ago. We were in the litigation phase of the lawsuit and depositions (that had already been scheduled and rescheduled several times) were about 2 weeks away. We had been anticipating another delay but the urgency and tone in the lawyer's voice sounded more serious than that. The Dr's attorney had produced a piece of evidence a few months ago that implied that the statute of limitations for malpractice had expired before the lawsuit had been filed. In my state the statute of limitations is 1 year from the date the patient suspects malpractice; or three years from the date of injury, which ever happens first. Our attorney had warned us that the defense would likely use this piece of evidence to file a Motion for Summary Judgement to dismiss the case based on statute of limitations, and that a Judge (or jury) would make a determination based on the information contained in each side's motion. We had been expecting it but that's not what they did. What they did instead was hire an expert neurosurgeon from a big name hospital to review the case, and the expert's opinion was that the standard of care was not violated. The defense then used this opinion to file a Motion for Summary Judgement to dismiss because the standard of care was not violated. Our attorney told us that in order to even respond to the Motion they would have to hire their own expert to review the case and give an opposing opinion which would cost approx $10-15k. Our attorney told us that our case was unlikely to survive a challenge on the statute of limitations, and they were unwilling to front the cost of an expert knowing that. We were told that we could file a Motion to keep the case alive while we attempt to find new counsel or we could agree to drop the case, and that if we didn't agree to either option they would file a motion to remove themselves from the case. We were told that there was one other option though, and they went on to describe what I can only call an emotional hail Mary to the other side. Given no real other options we opted for the hail Mary, and we've been told we'll know the results of that by the end of the week. We would've been satisfied with losing after having our day in court, but our day in court was stolen from us for the cost of an expert opinion. If we could self fund this case we would ride it out to trial, and if we lost we'd lose with honor and integrity. But we can't because the malpractice insurance company that covers the defense attorney's fees is willing and able to outspend the victim to avoid a trial. This is the 8th malpractice suit against this specific surgeon, all but 2 have been dismissed based on statute of limitations, and my State's medical board has never been notified about any of them. As far as they know this surgeon has never hurt anyone. Although it had been fun "fantasy spending" one of those large malpractice judgements or settlements you hear about, I never really expected to win, I just wanted justice...but there's no justice to be had for the poor. People like us just don't come into money like that, and when they do, it typically kills them. So maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Feel free to ask me anything about malpractice and I'll do my best to answer based on my experience without disclosing private details about our case.