Prior to the hearing on the motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s filed a second affidavit clarifying the expert’s qualifications. At the motion to Dismiss hearing the trial court found the affidavits were insufficient. The Plaintiffs then filed a third clarifying affidavit. The hospital renewed its Motion to Dismiss and also alleged that the later affidavits were filed outside of the statute of limitations. The trial court, without addressing that argument, denied the motion to dismiss.
An injured plaintiff who looks to bring a medical malpractice suit must first conduct an investigation that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the health care professionals were negligent and that the negligence resulted in injury. See FS §766.203(2). After such investigation the plaintiff must serve each defendant with a notice of intent to initiate litigation. See FS §766.106(2)(a). This notice must be corroborated with a “Verified Written Medical Expert Opinion from a Medical Expert as defined in §766.202(6).” See FS §766.203(2).
A medical expert is a person regularly engaged in the practice of her or his profession and who otherwise meets the requirements of F.S. §766.102. The expert must have devoted professional time during the three years immediately proceeding the date of the occurrence to the active clinical practice of or consulting with respect to the same or similar health profession as the healthcare provider against whom or on whose behalf the testimony is offered. See F.S. §766.102(5)(c). The purpose of these requirements is to screen for frivolous lawsuits and give a defendant notice of a potential claim and promote pre-suit settlement. They are not intended to be a “Daedalean Labyrinth” that denies a plaintiff access to the courts.
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