Using wrong mail service dooms LaPorte woman's malpractice claim

2013-05-09T17:45:00Z 2013-05-09T23:33:05Z Using wrong mail service dooms LaPorte woman's malpractice claimDan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | Even as it teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, the U.S. Postal Service often remains the best choice for mailing legal documents — as a LaPorte woman learned Thursday.

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Bonnie Moryl cannot pursue a medical malpractice claim against LaPorte Hospital and several of its employees for their alleged roles in the death of her husband, Richard Moryl, because her paperwork arrived, via FedEx, one day after the two-year statute of limitations expired.

Moryl argued that because she deposited her malpractice claim with FedEx one day before the deadline the documents should be considered timely filed even though they arrived one day after the deadline.

After all, she said, submissions to the Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court are considered filed on the day they are handed over to a third-party carrier.

However, in a 3-0 decision, the appeals court determined that Indiana law only considers mailed medical malpractice claims filed on the day they're mailed if sent via registered or certified mail through the U.S. Postal Service.

FedEx doesn't count, wrote Judge John Baker for the appeals court.

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