ZURICH AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, as SUBROGEE of DANIEL BILL, Plaintiff-Appellant,
ZIAD ABBUD, M.D., VINISHKUMAR PATEL, M.D., BEVERLY J. DEMCHUK, M.D., CHRISTINE DESANTIS, AMERICAN HEART CENTER, P.A., DIONISIO CRUZ, M.D., IRA M. STRAUSS, M.D., MUHAMMED S. HUQ, M.D., AVAIS MASUD, M.D., CONDE CHAT, HUQ, CRUZ, STRAUSS & MASUD, M.D., P.A., Defendants-Respondents.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued January 8, 2013.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, Docket No. L-6036-08.
Richard P. Krueger argued the cause for appellant (Krueger & Krueger and The Blanco Law Firm, LLC, attorneys; Mr. Krueger and Pablo N. Blanco, of counsel and on the brief).
Michael G. Halpin argued the cause for respondent Vinishkumar Patel, M.D. (Grossman & Heavey, P.C., attorneys, Mr. Halpin, on the brief).
Russell J. Malta argued the cause for respondents American Heart Center, P.A. and Beverly Demchuk, M.D. (McGreevy & Malta, attorneys; Mr. Malta, on the brief).
Annmarie G. Flores argued the cause for respondents Dionisio Cruz, M.D. and Ira M. Strauss, M.D. (Gage Fiore, LLC, attorneys; Alec Frick, on the brief).
Gregory J. Giordano argued the cause for respondent Avais Masud, M.D. (Lenox, Socey, Formidoni, Giordano, Cooley, Lang & Casey, LLC, attorneys; Michael A. Pattanite, Jr., on the brief).
Jill R. O'Keeffe argued the cause for respondents Muhammed S. Huq, M.D. and Conde, Chat, Huq, Cruz Strauss & Masud, M.D., P.A. (Orlovsky, Moody, Schaaff, Conlon & Gabrysiak, attorneys; Ms. O'Keeffe, on the brief).
Before Judges Alvarez, Waugh and St. John.
Plaintiff Zurich American Insurance Company, a worker's compensation insurer, as a subrogee of Daniel Bill, appeals from the grant of defendants' summary judgment motion which dismissed plaintiff's medical malpractice complaint because it was filed beyond the applicable statute of limitations. Plaintiff contends that the "discovery rule, " should apply to toll the limitations period. Lopez v. Swyer, 62 N.J. 267, 272 (1973). Alternatively, plaintiff argues that it properly employed the fictitious party rule, R. 4:26-4, and its second and third amended complaints naming certain defendants for the first time related back to the timely-filed original complaint, thus avoiding application of the limitations period. We have considered these arguments in light of the record and applicable legal standards. We affirm.
We consider the facts in a light most favorable to plaintiff. Bill was injured in a fall in February 2005, and while in the hospital was diagnosed ...