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Texas Supreme Court: Chapter 74 Notice Letter and Authorization Form Required to Toll Statute of Limitations

by Leah Greene, JD, LLM on April 1st, 2011

Today, the Texas Supreme Court held to a strict construction of the Chapter 74 notice requirements. In Carreras v. Marroquin, et al; the plaintiffs served a Chapter 74 Notice Letter on the defendant physician two days before the two-year statute of limitations expired. They filed suit over two months after the two-year statute of limitations expired. The plaintiffs provided the physician with an authorization form to obtain medical records almost nine months after they sent the Notice Letter and almost seven months after they filed suit. The trial court denied the physician’s motion for summary judgment based on the plaintiffs’ failure to file suit within the statute of limitations. The plaintiffs claim they were entitled to a 60-day abatement to provide the authorization form. The appellate court affirmed the trial court.

The Texas Supreme Court reversed and rendered in favor of the physician. It determined that Chapter 74 requires that a plaintiff provide both the Notice Letter and authorization form for the statute of limitations to be tolled in a health care liability claim.

The full opinion can be found here.

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