medical malpractice lawyers in florida
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Appeals court holds that a claim brought against a hospital

Appeals court holds that a claim brought against a hospital alleging failure to properly screen its staff members, one of whom then sexually assaulted the patient, is a medical malpractice case and must follow all of the medical malpractice procedural rules.    The patient’s lawsuit had two parts.  The first part claimed that the hospital was negligent and failed to exercise reasonable care for her safety.  A second part of the lawsuit was based on §766.110, Florida Statutes, titled “Liability of Healthcare Facilities.”  §766.110 is a law that says there is a duty on the part of hospitals “to … assure...

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Court order reinstating medical malpractice complaint after dismissal

Appeals court quashes trial court order reinstating medical malpractice complaint after dismissal based on failure to comply with presuit expert “same specialty” requirement.   There is a statute in Florida that says that in a medical malpractice case, the parties can only bring in expert witnesses to testify about the appropriate standard of care who are in the exact same medical specialty as the defendant health care provider who is being sued.   So, for example, even though neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons may both perform an identical type of spine surgery, the law would prohibit a neurosurgeon from testifying an orthopedist did...

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Florida Court declares caps on malpractice injury cases unconstitutional

Court room to set caps on damages

In a much-anticipated decision, the Fourth DCA holds that statutory caps in medical malpractice cases imposed by §768.118, Fla. Stat. (2005) are unconstitutional in medical malpractice injury cases, even when there is only one plaintiff. The court found that the caps violate the equal protection provision of Art. I, §2, Fla. Const. The Florida Supreme Court had previously found damage caps in medical malpractice death cases to be unconstitutional. This is the first appellate court to address whether malpractice caps are constitutional in medical malpractice cases that result in injuries which do not cause the death of the patient. This...

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Florida Court reverses decision about limiting number of expert witnesses

The 5th District Court of Appeal has ruled that trial judges have the discretion to limit the number of expert witnesses in medical malpractice trials. The Court receded from its earlier ruling in Lake v. Clark, 533 So.2d 797 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988), that a trial court may not limit expert witnesses in a malpractice trial. Woodson v. Go, 2015 WL 3903589 (Fla. 5th DCA June 26, 2015)....

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Supreme Court holds medical malpractice caps not retroactive

The Florida Supreme Court declined to address the constitutionality of damage caps in injury malpractice cases but did declare that if such caps are constitutional they may not be applied retroactively to an event that occurred prior to the date the malpractice cap statute was enacted by the legislature. The Florida Supreme Court has previously declared that caps on damages in medical malpractice death cases are unconstitutional. Miles v. Weingrad - So.3d ---- 2015 WL 2401261 (Fla. May 21, 2015)....

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Mistake in name of malpractice defendant not basis to throw out suit

Florida’s Second District holds that a suit naming hospital auxiliary instead of the hospital as the defendant was a mere misnomer and that an amended complaint naming the correct defendant related back to the time of filing the original complaint. A plaintiff whose stroke was allegedly misdiagnosed sued two doctors and attempted to sue the hospital involved, as well. Instead of naming the hospital, however, the complaint named the hospital auxiliary, a separate corporation which apparently provided support services to the hospital, but no medical care. The auxiliary’s answer contained a general denial, as well as an affirmative defense stating...

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Malpractice defendant wins but not entitled to attorneys fees

Florida Supreme Court quashes lower appeals court decision in malpractice case and holds that a proposal for settlement was invalid because it was an unapportioned joint offer. A plaintiff filed a medical malpractice suit against a limited partnership and a corporation, both doing business as “Florida Medical Center.” The complaint alleged that both entities “owned, operated, maintained, and controlled” the medical center, that the corporation was a general partner of the limited partnership, and that both entities were liable for negligent hiring and retention as well as vicariously liable for the alleged negligence of two doctors. During the course of...

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Malpractice defendant not allowed to obtain information about expert

Appellate Court in Florida case denies certiorari for the defendant seeking discovery of plaintiff’s presuit expert witness. A medical malpractice defendant moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the plaintiff had failed to comply with Chapter 766 presuit notice requirements. The defendant specifically alleged that the expert doctor whose verified written statement the plaintiff had enclosed with the notice of intent to initiate litigation was unqualified because he lacked “substantial professional experience” under §766.102(9), Florida Statutes. The defendant also alleged that the plaintiff’s expert had failed to complete a review of all the available records before giving his...

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