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A Wisconsin judge ruled last week that the statute of limitations had run out on a family who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. Doctors left a sponge inside Robert Genrich during a July 2003 surgery. The sponge was removed in a second surgery, but Genrich died three days later.

At issue was whether the date of “injury” was defined as the day the sponge was removed in a second surgery or when the man died three days later.

Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Daniel George ruled Thursday that the three-year period began on Aug. 8, 2003, the day Robert Genrich underwent a second surgery to have the sponge taken out.

Genrich’s widow filed a medical malpractice suit against the Hospital and its insurance company on August 9, 2006 – one day too late, according to the judge’s ruling.

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