Medical Experts & Malpractice Reform

Medical_29065For the second time, the Washington State Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional part of the 2006 medical professional liability reform that was intended to curb medical malpractice lawsuits. The first time was in the fall of 2009, when the court struck down a law requiring a certificate of merit from a medical expert before suing for medical malpractice. The court held that the law violated “both the separation of powers and the right of access to courts.”

This month, the court struck down the requirement that providers be given a 90-day notice before a medical malpractice suit could be filed. The decision was based on two cases: Waples v. Yi, and Cunningham v. Nicol.  Both plaintiffs lost their lawsuits and their state court appeals because of their failure to give the requisite notice. In a consolidated case, the Washington Supreme Court reversed the lower courts and held that the notice requirement was unconstitutional.  The Court, similar to the 2009 decision, held that the requirement violates the separation of powers and right of access to courts, and that the law “does not address the primary rights of either party and deals only with the procedures to effect those rights.”

Read more: theclinicaladvisor.com.

About Karen Olson

Information Professional with twenty years experience in legal, public record, and business research. Fifteen years law firm experience.

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