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March, 2010 | New Jersey Medical Malpractice Blog Archive

Affidavit of Merit of Specialist Not Always Needed in Case against a Specialist

By Attorney Michael B. Zerres on March 16, 2010

Generally speaking, when a plaintiff in New Jersey sues a board-certified medical specialist, an Affidavit of Merit is required to be served by the plaintiff’s attorney from a board-certified physician who is in the same specialty as the defendant(s) being sued. New Jersey’s Affidavit of Merit Statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-27, et .seq. requires that, but only “where the care or treatment at issue involves that specialty.” So, for example, if a plaintiff is suing a gastroenterologist over a negligently performed colonoscopy, an Affidavit of Merit from a specialist in gastroenterology will be required as “the care or treatment at issue involves” gastroenterology. Ryan v. Renny 408 N.J. Super. 590 (app. Div. 2009) However, where the specialist care involves area of general medicine or an area of medicine outside his or her specialty, a plaintiff need not serve an Affidavit of Merit from a doctor who has the same specialty as the defendant(s). So says a federal Court in Jorden v. Glass, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20073, decided on March 5, 2010. Read the rest »

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