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Court shoots down proposal that would hinder malpractice victims

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2014 | Doctor Errors

Every state in the country, New Jersey not excepted, has legal provisions in the form of statutory law that address what might be regarded as the essentials of medical malpractice.

That is, legislators have drafted legislation that covers core areas of importance regarding damage ceilings that govern jury awards for medical negligence, the statute of limitations applicable to the filing of a claim and additional matters. In New Jersey, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can fully explain state malpractice law and provide knowledgeable and aggressive representation to any client who has been injured through a doctor’s error or other medical mistake.

Malpractice law — especially material developments relating to it — is often a fascinating topic, with relevant stories emerging with regularity across the country.

One such story that recently received media attention is from Florida. We sketch its details here for our New Jersey and other readers, believing it has broad-based relevance, especially for the spotlight it places on constitutional separation of powers and the interplay between legislators and the judiciary.

Florida lawmakers passed doctor-friendly and anti-plaintiff legislation in 2011 that sought to make it more difficult for out-of-state expert witnesses to offer testimony in Florida malpractice cases. Unsurprisingly, persons favoring an ever-closing courthouse door on injured plaintiffs strongly supported the law.

Florida Supreme Court justices apparently see holes in the legislation, with justices recently declining pursuant to a 6-1 ruling to approve the special certification process proposed for non-Florida expert witnesses. One commentator has suggested that the ruling signals justices’ discontent with what they view as a legislative attempt to usurp their control over court procedure.

In its ruling, the Court noted the potential for the law to have “a chilling effect on the ability to obtain expert witnesses.”

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal, “Justices question Florida’s medical malpractice law,” Jim Saunders, Dec. 13, 2013

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