Limitations Extended Where A Dentist Denied Fault and Continued Work

In Chelli-Greco v. Rizk, 2016 ONCA 489, the Court of Appeal upheld a Judge’s ruling that Cheli-Greco’s claim was not discovered until after she terminated her relationship with Dr. Rizk, such that her claim was not statute barred.

In that case, Dr. Rizk was Chelli-Greco’s dentist from 2005 until October 2012. On September 21, 2011, Chelli-Greco complained to Dr. Rizk about the bridge he had installed, demanded her money back and threatened to go to a lawyer. In response, Dr. Rizk insisted that the failed bridge was not his fault and that he would continue to work to fix the problem. When Dr. Rizk’s work remained unsatisfactory to Chelli-Greco, she filed suit on June 16, 2014, which was within two years of her last appointment with Dr. Rizk.

Dr. Rizk moved for summary judgment, alleging that Chelli-Greco’s action was statute-barred, as she knew of her problem by September 21, 2011, but did not file suit until June 16, 2014, more than two years later. That argument was rejected by the motion Judge, who noted that Dr. Rizk denied responsibility and continued work to try to correct the problem. As such, the motion Judge held that Chelli-Greco’s action was not discovered until after the treatment and the dentist-patient relationship had ended. As a result, Dr. Rizk’s motion for summary judgment was denied. As such, Chelli-Greco’s action was not barred by the Limitations Act, 2002, SO 2002, c 24, Sch B. Those findings were upheld on appeal.

Once more, this case illustrates the principal that in many professional negligence and medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the professional relationship ends. This means that it may be possible to pursue a claim, despite the fact the claim arose more than two years in the past.

If you believe you have been the victim of professional negligence, call 647-495-8995 to speak to our experienced malpractice lawyers today.

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