Dentist Savidge recommended a porcelain-capped crown on one of Young’s molars. Savidge’s website states that his crown’s are made of gold or porcelain and temporary crowns are “can be made of stainless steel.” She had the crown put in and later felt a burning, confusion, fatigue, and discoloration. She presented to another dentist who determined that the crown was made of mostly nickel, a known toxic metal. Young sued Savidge and argued that he committed medical malpractice, engaged in misrepresentation, violated the CPA, and breached their contract. She gave Savidge notice of intent to sue. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Savidge because Young failed to bring her claim within the allotted statute of limitations and for failure to file a certificate of merit.
Young appeals arguing that her informed consent claim did not fall under the Medical Malpractice SOL. The court disagreed holding that the claim did fall under the medical mal SOL because the dentist was engaged in health care when he failed to inform her of the risk of nickel. The claim was time barred for failure to bring within three years of the act or one year of discovery, even with the statutory amendments that allow for 90 day tolling and an additional five days Young was 3 days late in filing her suit.
Young argues that the breach of contract claim should not have fallen under the med mal statute even though it arose out of health care. The court disagreed and held that the claim was time barred under the same analysis as above.
Young argues that her intentional misrepresentation claims should not have fallen under the med mal statute. The court agreed and held that intentional misrepresentations are not governed by the med mal statute, however whether the claim was time barred under the general three year statute remains a material fact as to when Young discovered the facts constituting fraud.
Similarly the court found that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the CPA claims are governed under the former RCW 4.16.350(3). The court remands for a trial on the merits.
The trial court also held that Young failed to file a certificate of merit. Putnam changed the law on the certificate of merit issue holding that this step is not required of medical malpractice cases. The court of appeals held this decision applies retroactively and thus the trial court erred in its granting of summary judgment on that issue.