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January, 2011 | New Jersey Medical Malpractice Blog Archive

Ferreira Conference Not Required for Medical Malpractice Case Filed in New Jersey Federal Court

By Attorney Michael B. Zerres on January 14, 2011

New Jersey’s Affidavit of Merit Statute requires that an Affidavit of Merit be served within 60 days of a defendant’s filing an Answer, and, no later than 120 days if leave to file is sought and good cause is shown. NJSA 2A:53A-27. If, after expiration of 120 days, an Affidavit of Merit is not served, a plaintiff’s case can be dismissed with prejudice; a dismissal “without prejudice” may occur if extraordinary circumstances are present. Attorney inadvertence (i.e., a mistake by the lawyer) will not result in a dismissal “without prejudice,” but will generally result in a dismissal with prejudice. However, under New Jersey State Court procedural law, the Supreme Court decision of Ferreira v. Rancocas Orthopedic Assocs., 178 NJ 144 (NJ 2003), requires a case management conference early in the stages of malpractice actions to address sufficiencies and/or deficiencies in a plaintiff’s Affidavit of Merit. At such a conference, a Court may, for example, give additional time to a plaintiff to correct a deficient Affidavit. Read the rest »

Should Patients Be Informed Before Surgery if Their Doctor is Sleep Deprived?

By Attorney Michael B. Zerres on January 14, 2011

It is widely believed that sleep deprivation impairs performance as severely as alcohol intoxication.

A recent article published by The New England Journal of Medicine discussed the impact a physician’s sleep deprivation has on their job performance, and asserted that patients should be informed of a doctor’s lack of sleep before an elective surgical procedure.

According to the article, there is an 83 percent increased risk of complications (such as an organ injury or massive hemorrhage) in patients who undergo elective surgical procedures performed by an attending surgeon who had less than 6 hours of sleep between procedures (during an on-call night shift). Read the rest »

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