Recently, a case was decided by Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeals concerning the necessity for a corroborating expert medical opinion as a pre-suit requirement for a medical malpractice claim against a hospital; which challenged an Order denying its Motion to Dismiss the medical malpractice claim due to an alleged failure to comply with the pre-suit requirements of Chapter 766 of Florida Statutes. The Court denied the hospital’s Petition and held that the particular affidavits submitted by the plaintiff fulfilled the pre-suit requirements.
The facts were as follows: the Plaintiff was admitted to the hospital after complaining of abdominal pain. The physician prescribed narcotics but the nurses allegedly neglected to properly monitor him for possible known side effects and allegedly failed to document his vital signs throughout the night. Early in the morning the nurses found the plaintiff unresponsive and suffering from respiratory distress. The Plaintiff allegedly stopped breathing for 13 minutes and suffered brain damage.
When the Plaintiff’s presented the hospital with its Notice of Intent to Initiate Medical Malpractice Litigation in accordance with Florida Statute Chapter 766 they attached an affidavit and the Curriculum Vitae from a registered nurse. The Affidavit did not specifically indicate that the alleged expert had any experience as a hospital nurse within the three (3) year’s prior to the Plaintiff’s incident, as is required by the statute. The affidavit however, did indicate the experts understanding of the facts and her opinion that the hospital and its staff were negligent and breached the applicable standard of care which caused severe harm to the plaintiff. The hospital challenged the qualifications of the plaintiff’s expert to render and expert opinion and that it was clear the expert had not devoted any time to clinical practice for a significant length of time nor did she have appropriate training or experience to opine about the medical causation of the Plaintiff’s injuries for pre-suit purposes.
In this particular case when all the affidavits were reviewed in their totality the plaintiff’s expert was sufficiently qualified to place the defendant on notice of intent to initiate medical malpractice. For further information regarding this very serious topic, you may wish to contact the Fort Lauderdale Medical Malpractice attorney by calling please contact 1-877-529-0444 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org