Suing the District of Columbia requires notice

Posted on Nov 19, 2010
Anyone suing the District for injuries or death must give notice to the Mayor within six months of the accident or event that caused the injuries under D.C. Code section 12-309.  The D.C. Court of Appeals just ruled that the six month time period begins to run when the claimant has actual notice or is put on inquiry notice of the injury. 

The notice provision does not apply to suits against employees of D.C. acting in the course and scope of their employment.  For example, a child with cerebral palsy can file a lawsuit (through his mother or father) for injuries caused by medical malpractice by an individual doctor providing medical treatment at a clinic or city hospital without filing a 12-309 notice.

Anyone injured by the District of Columbia should act quickly to protect their rights and give the required notice immediately.  Despite this court's recent interpretation of the statute, it continues to produce harsh results for seriously injured people who do not know their rights. 


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