Medical malpractice plaintiffs must follow certain procedural rules, but what procedures is the court required to follow?
In Nieves v. Viera, the Third District considered whether the trial court erred by failing to hold an evidentiary hearing before denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss. This medical malpractice case arose after the defendant doctor performed surgery on a fractured femur. No issues arose during or immediately after surgery, but the patient suffered respiratory arrest after receiving pain medication several hours later. During the next four days, the hospital never contacted the surgeon, nor did the surgeon contact the patient. The patient died four days after her surgery.
The patient’s personal representative sent notice of intent to initiate a medical malpractice action against the surgeon. The notice included the verified written medical expert opinion of a doctor who specialized in internal medicine and pulmonology. The personal representative filed suit against the surgeon and several other defendants, but only the surgeon was involved in the appeal.