Certificate of Merit Requirements Should Be Gentle
Unlike a lot of medical malpractice lawyers, I don’t have a huge problem with requiring a certificate of merit when filing a malpractice lawsuit.
Why? They are probably a necessary evil in avoiding frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. I don’t think these are a big and costly problem, but the medical community seems to think so. Let’s not fight them on everything.
But I do think it is wise to realize that if we require certificates of merit, we are best served by narrowly construing them to meet the statutory purpose of having a gatekeeper in malpractice suits. This means, to me, that if a challenge to the certificate of merit can be fairly called “technical”, let’s give the plaintiffs fair remedy to cure the problem.
Connecticut seems to appreciate this. Legislation is on the way that would loosen the reins on who could write the opinions from “similar” health care providers to “qualified” health care providers. This new law would also give medical malpractice plaintiffs 60 days to fix problems with the opinions after being ordered to by a judge.
You can read more on this new law later.