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Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District
April 1, 2016, Opinion Filed
Case No. 2D15-1680
[*412] MORRIS, Judge.
Gina Marie Bove, as personal representative of the estate of Anthony Bove, appeals a final judgment entered in favor of Naples HMA, LLC, d/b/a Physicians Regional Medical Center-Pine Ridge, Dr. E. William Akins, and Dr. Jay Wang in Mrs. Bove's medical negligence action. For the reasons we explain, we conclude that Mrs. Bove's complaint was untimely because she did not file it within two years of when she became aware of the possibility that medical negligence occurred. We therefore affirm.
The underlying medical negligence action arose after Mr. Bove died on [**2] February 26, 2012, after suffering a retroperitoneal bleed following a bone marrow biopsy performed by Dr. Akins at the direction of Dr. Wang. Both Dr. Akins and Dr. Wang are physicians at Physicians Regional Medical Center-Pine Ridge (Physicians). After the bleed was discovered, Mr. Bove was evaluated by another physician who concluded that the bleed was a co-morbid condition acting in conjunction with other underlying medical issues.
On April 19, 2012, Mrs. Bove met with Dr. Akins to review what had occurred during the bone marrow biopsy.1 On July 10, 2012, Mrs. Bove met with her attorney. On February 2, 2014, and again on February 23, 2014, Mrs. Bove received copies of letters from two medical experts who concluded that Mr. Bove's death was caused by the retroperitoneal bleed and that the bone marrow biopsy caused the bleed.
On February 25, 2014, Mrs. Bove, via certified mail, served Physicians with a copy of the notice of intent to pursue litigation, along with Mr. Bove's medical records and the two letters from Mrs. Bove's medical experts. [**3] Notably, however, Physicians did not receive the notice of intent until March 4, 2014. Mrs. Bove provided [*413] affidavits executed by the two experts to Physicians on March 17, 2014. The notice stated that "the two (2) year timeframe [in which to file the complaint] would begin to run from the date of Mr. Bove's death, as this was the date the family and estate of Mr. Bove discovered the negligence of the professionals of Physicians Regional in performing the bone marrow biopsy."
Mrs. Bove served a notice of intent on Dr. Wang on May 12, 2014, and he received it on May 19, 2014. She served a notice of intent on Dr. Akins on June 11, 2014, but he did not receive it until June 16, 2014.2 The notices sent to Drs. Wang and Akins did not contain any specific details as to when Mrs. Bove learned of any purported negligence attributed to Drs. Wang or Akins. Rather, the notices requested that Drs. Wang and Akins refer to the averments made in the notice of intent that was served on Physicians (copies of which were attached).
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196 So. 3d 411 *; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 5047 **; 41 Fla. L. Weekly D 827; 2016 WL 1273260
GINA MARIE BOVE, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Anthony Bove, deceased, Appellant, v. NAPLES HMA, LLC, d/b/a PHYSICIANS REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER-PINE RIDGE; E. WILLIAM AKIN, M.D.; and JAY WANG, M.D., Appellees.
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by Bove v. Naples HMA, LLC, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 13239 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist., July 29, 2016)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the Circuit Court for Collier County; Hugh D. Hayes, Judge.
statute of limitations, notice, notice of intent, medical malpractice, receive notice, expired, mail, trial court, tolled, bleed, limitations period, bone marrow, biopsy
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