A company that insures Brigham Young University lost its bid to win back $500,000 it paid a former BYU football player in 1988 after the player sued the school.
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed Compass Insurance's medical malpractice suit against Intermountain Health Care and a Utah County doctor, saying the suit was filed too late.The suit stemmed from an injury that BYU football player Daniel Plater received in 1981 while playing for BYU. His professional career with the Chicago Bears was cut short in 1983 when it was discovered he had a brain tumor that may have resulted from the 1981 head injury, the ruling says.
Plater sued BYU in 1984, accusing the school of medical malpractice in the way his head injury was treated. The university paid Plater $1 million in 1988, the ruling says. In addition, Compass paid him $500,000.
Compass filed a medical malpractice suit against IHC and radiologist Gordon Brown in 1990, attempting to recoup the money it gave Plater.
Plater was treated at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for his head injury in 1981, the ruling says. Hospital staff took X-rays of Plater's skull, which were reviewed by Brown. In a report dictated by Brown and transcribed by IHC, Brown recommended Plater undergo tomography, the ruling says.
However, neither Brown or the medical center - which is owned by IHC - followed up on the suggestion, the ruling says.
Despite the lack of follow-up, U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins dismissed Compass' suit Thursday, saying it was filed too late under the Utah Medical Malpractice Act. Under the act, "a malpractice action must be brought within four years of the date of the alleged act," the ruling says.
The alleged malpractice was discovered on Oct. 1, 1983. "Compass did not file . . . until January 21, 1990, more than six years after the alleged malpractice occurred."