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Paul Zimmerman
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Larson v. UHS of Rancho Springs, Inc.: One-year Statute of Limitations Applies

On October 3, 2014, the California Court of Appeal issued its opinion in Larson v. UHS of Rancho Springs, Inc. The opinion is significant because it decides whether claims for intentional torts are subject to the one-year statute of limitations applicable to professional negligence by a health care provider. (CCP § 340.5.) They are.

In Larson, the plaintiff sued his anesthesiologist for battery and intentional inflection of emotional distress, both intentional torts. The plaintiff alleged that during the preoperative checkup and while administering anesthesia, the anesthesiologist grabbed and twisted the plaintiff’s arm, pried open his mouth, and lifted, pulled, and pushed on his face and head. The Court of Appeal held that courts must look past the labels attached to causes of action and instead focus on the specific conduct alleged. Because the lawsuit was based on the anesthesiologist’s conduct in providing professional health care, the one-year statute of limitations governing professional negligence by a health care provider applied. 

This article is not offered as, and should not be relied on as, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.