Johnson filed a medical malpractice action against Hunter in January 1987, alleging that because of negligent treatment in 1984, she suffered from chronic hip pain requiring repeated hospitalizations, including major surgery in October 1985. The trial court denied Hunter's motion for summary judgment, in part based on a finding that the action was not barred by the statute of limitations of OCGA 9-3-71
. The court found the old (1976) statute unconstitutional as applied and that the new (1985) statute controlled. 1
We granted an interlocutory appeal to consider this issue.
1. Statutes of limitation look only to the remedy and so are procedural. George v. Gardner, 49 Ga. 441, 450 (1873); U. S. Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Toombs County, 187 Ga. 544, 450 (1 SE2d 411) (1939).
2. Ordinarily, there is no constitutional impediment to giving retroactive effect to statutes that govern only procedure of the courts. Pritchard v. Savannah R. Co., 87 Ga. 294 (13 SE 493) (1891)
Allrid v. Emory Univ., 249 Ga. 35
, 37 (285 SE2d 521
3. However, there is no question of retroactivity here, as the amended (1985) version of OCGA 9-3-71
was in effect at the time that the action was filed. There being no attack upon the validity of the amended statute, nothing in it compels the conclusion that the amended version should not apply to actions filed after its effective date.
4. As the alleged injury occurred within the times prescribed by the statute of limitations (OCGA 9-3-71
(a)), and by the statute of repose, (OCGA 9-3-71
(b)), the action was filed timely.