Barrier v. JFK Medical Center Ltd. Partnership
Barrier v. JFK Medical Center Ltd. Partnership, 169 So.3d 185 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015)
This decision centered around when the knowledge of a guardian is imputed to the ward for purposes of bringing a medical malpractice suit. Here, the mother of the ward was first appointed as ETG of her son. After sixty days, her son was determined to be incompetent and she was appointed as plenary guardian of his person and property. The issue on appeal was whether her appointment as ETG created a legal duty towards her son such that any knowledge of medical malpractice the guardian may have acquired could be imputed to her son and thus trigger the commencement of the statute of limitations. The Court held that since the appointment of an ETG is an interim measure, which gave the mother only the authority to make medical decisions for her son and manage his medical and financial affairs until the appointment of a permanent guardian, she did not have a duty as ETG to file a malpractice suit on his behalf. Knowledge of the medical malpractice can only be imputed from the date the permanent plenary guardian was appointed.