Saturday, January 26, 2008
On Thursday, I posted about two states, Ohio and Texas, that passed significant medical malpractice reforms in 2003. Another state that did so was West Virginia. This week, the West Virginia Supreme Court heard arguments in a case challenging one of those reforms, the "certificate of merit" requirement in malpractice cases. The plaintiff claims the requirement is an undue burden; physicians will not sign the certificate because of an association with the defendant or they will charge exorbitant fees to do so. The plaintiff claimed the fee was "upwards of" $40,000.
The facts of this case are somewhat bizarre, and may make it difficult to focus on the underlying issues. The plaintiff himself is a physician, he was not represented by counsel for most of the litigation, and plaintiff's claims include a battery allegation in which he was held down by defendant's assistants and had a stent removed (despite his repeated demands to stop the procedure). The story is here.