The statute of repose in Pennsylvania provides that no medical malpractice case may be filed in this Commonwealth unless it is brought within seven years from the date of the alleged malpractice. This limitation is different than and in addition to the standard statute of limitations in tort cases. The standard statute of limitations requires that malpractice actions must be filed within two years of the date of the malpractice or within two years of the date that the patient becomes aware of the alleged malpractice or reasonably should have become aware of the alleged malpractice (the Discovery Rule).
This seven-year limitation applies only to the discovery rule situations and limits the amount of time that the discovery rule extends the statute of limitations by requiring that lawsuits be filed within seven years of the date of the malpractice regardless of whether the discovery rule would otherwise arguably extend that time period.
There are several exceptions to the application of the statute of repose. One is in the situation where foreign objects are unintentionally left in a patient’s body, or if a doctor or medical facility has made a misrepresentation or fraudulently concealed the cause of death if that’s has occurred. In addition minors may commence a lawsuit for malpractice within a seven year period of the statute of repose or up until their 20th birthday, whichever occurs later.