Wilkinson v. East Cooper Community HospitalAnnotate this Case
In this medical malpractice case, Vicki Wilkinson appealed the circuit court's dismissal of her civil action with prejudice based on the motions filed by respondents East Cooper Community Hospital, Inc., Carolina Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Institute, P.A., and Dr. Thomas Hahm. Wilkinson argued on appeal that the court erred in finding: (1) the statute of limitations was not tolled because she failed to file an expert witness affidavit contemporaneously with her Notice of Intent to File Suit ("NOI") pursuant to section 15-79-125 of the South Carolina Code; and (2) she failed to file her Complaint within the applicable statute of limitations given she did not contemporaneously file an expert witness affidavit with the Complaint or within forty-five days thereafter in accordance with section 15-36-100(C). This appeal implicated the Court of Appeals' decision in "Ranucci v. Crain," (723 S.E.2d 242 (Ct. App. 2012)) ("Ranucci I"). The Supreme Court reversed Ranucci I, holding that section 15-79-125(A) incorporatesdsection 15-36-100 in its entirety. Therefore, Wilkinson could invoke section 15-36-100(C)(1), which extended the time for filing the expert witness affidavit with her NOI and tolled the applicable statute of limitations. However, because the analysis in Ranucci II was limited to the dismissal of the pre-litigation NOI, it was not dispositive since this case involved the next procedural step in medical malpractice litigation. Accordingly, the circuit court's order was reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.