Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case that illustrates the importance of following all procedural and court rules in South Florida medical malpractice cases. In this case, the plaintiff brought a lawsuit against a physician and pharmacy, claiming that they overprescribed medication. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss whether the plaintiff’s late-filed notice of expert testimony should be admitted, and if not, whether the plaintiff’s claim must fail as a result.
Ultimately, the court resolved both issues against the plaintiff, dismissing her case against both the pharmacy and the physician.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendants, a physician and a pharmacy. The deadline for pre-trial discovery passed, and the plaintiff had not identified any expert witness who would be testifying on her behalf. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, and on the day that hearing was scheduled to be held, the plaintiff announced that she would be having an expert testify.
The defendants objected to the late-filed notice of expert testimony, and the trial court precluded the expert from testifying. Once the expert’s testimony was kept out, the trial court then granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, finding that without the expert’s testimony, the plaintiff could not prove her case.
The plaintiff appealed the lower court’s decision to a higher court. However, the decision was affirmed on appeal. The appellate court explained that trial courts have broad discretion when determining how to handle their dockets, and sanctions may be appropriate when a party fails to comply with deadlines imposed by state procedural rules or by the court handling the case.
As a preliminary matter, the court noted that the plaintiff failed to properly preserve the issue for appeal. However, even if the issue had been preserved, the court explained that the plaintiff could not prevail because she did not present any explanation about why the notice of expert testimony was filed almost four months after the discovery deadline. The court acknowledged that the plaintiff was not represented by counsel, but it explained that this was not an excuse for failing to comply with the court’s rules. As a result, the plaintiff’s case was dismissed, and she will not be permitted to seek compensation from either of the defendants.
Have You Been a Victim of Malpractice?
If you or a loved one has recently been provided with medical care that left you in a worse situation than before you received the care, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a South Florida medical malpractice lawsuit. The skilled South Florida personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the law firm of Friedman, Rodman & Frank have extensive experience handling a wide range of Florida injury claims, including medical malpractice claims and pharmacy error claims. Call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated South Florida injury attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Court Reverses Jury’s Verdict Based on Lack of Evidence Showing the Defendant Knew about Hazard that Caused Plaintiff’s Fall, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published November 27, 2017.
Student’s Premises Liability Case Against School Dismissed Based on Lack of Causation, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published December 5, 2017.