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Texas Supreme Court Hears Statute of Repose Case

by Marsha Bradley, JD, LLM on February 3rd, 2014

In Tenet v. Rivera, an obstetrics medical malpractice case, the Texas Supreme Court will decide whether the ten-year statute of repose in the Texas Medical Liability Act (TMLA) violates the Open Courts provision of the Texas Constitution when applied to claims by children injured before the age of eight. TMLA was enacted in 2003 to “make affordable medical and health care more accessible and available to the citizens of Texas.” Act of June 2, 2003, 78th Leg., R.S., ch. 204, § 10.11(b)(5), 2003 Tex. Gen. Laws 847, 884–85.

Will the Court’s decision in Rivera have any impact on the practice of obstetrics in the State of Texas? Oral arguments in the case will be heard on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Live streaming of the arguments can be found here.

 NUMBER OF OB-GYNS IN TEXAS BY YEAR

Year

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

#MDs

2697

2748

2661

2678

2707

2747

2781

2832

2837

2852

2888

2712

2764

2789

Between 2000 and 2010, the population of Texas increased by 20.6 percent, but there was only a seven percent increase in the number of doctors practicing obstetrics in Texas. In contrast, there was a 29.7 percent increase in the overall number of doctors providing direct patient care.

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