Discovery rule is analyzed in malpractice case
Timothy and Stephanie Horne sued their attorney, Ira Saperstein, after he refused to file a malpractice claim on their behalf. Saperstein had signed a fee agreement with them in 2002, investigated the case for 14 months, and then executed a last-minute Notice of Intent to extend the medical malpractice statute of limitations. Several months later, he advised them of his withdrawl from representing them, with only weeks remaining in the extended limitation period. Several years later, they consulted with an attorney who suggested they sue Saperstein for his management of the malpractice claim. The case was filed in 2008 and the defendants immediately sought summary disposition, arguing that the statute of limitations had expired.The Hornes argued that they did not reasonably discover Saperstein's negligence until they talked to attorney Ted Bean in February of 2008. The Court noted that Saperstein had informed them of his actions very fully, although he did miscalculate the statute of limitations by one day. It also noted that they had consulted with "several attorneys" after Saperstein, and that these attorneys told Mr. Horne that Saperstein should have allowed them six months' notice of his intent to withdraw. Under the circumstances, the court concluded that the Hornes "should have discovered" their malpractice claim well before the passage of several years, and therefore the statute of limitations had run.