State’s Supreme Court Strikes Down Medical Malpractice Law

A state’s supreme court has struck down a piece of a 2003 medical malpractice lawsuit reform effort, calling it an unconstitutional special law. The measure required parties filing medical malpractices lawsuits to give notice to the defendant within 18 days or else they will have their case dismissed. In other types of lawsuits, filers who fail to notify the defendant within 180 days have an opportunity for a hearing before a case is dismissed. A ruling this week stated the law singled out medical negligence plaintiffs for different procedural treatment. The law denies such plaintiffs prior notice of dismissal proceedings while the ordinary plaintiff receives notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to any dismissal. In 2006, the state’s Supreme Court overturned a law requiring malpractice lawsuits to be accompanied by an affifdavit from an expert witness attesting to the case’s merits. The court said the requirement violated the state’s ban on special laws because it puts medical negligence cases in a separate class from other negligence claims. To read the full story, click here.

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