Pastchol v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co

In Pastchol v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 326 Ark. 140, 929 S.W.2d 713 (1996), the patient was to have surgery to repair a perforated ulcer. While he was receiving anesthesia, but before the surgery had begun, the patient vomited and aspirated the contents of his stomach into his lungs. It was alleged that the patient's lungs were severely damaged and that the aspiration of the stomach contents into his lungs was the result of negligent conduct. The patient subsequently died, and it was argued that the statute of limitations should be reckoned from the date of the patient's death under the continuous-treatment rule because the patient continued to receive medical care until he died, even though there was no claim that the post-surgery treatment was improper. The supreme court disagreed, holding that the doctrine was not designed to extend the statute of limitations in cases where only a single, isolated act of negligence is alleged.