Troy D. v. Mickens

By Michael Zerres

Two juvenile plaintiffs instituted an action against a group of psychologists, alleging injuries as a result of being held in isolation for significant periods of time while in the custody of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission. At issue was whether the Court should have granted the medical defendants’ motion to dismiss the Complaint as plaintiffs did not serve Affidavits of Merit in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-26 to -29.

However, the Court held that the Affidavit of Merit Statute did not apply in the current action as, pursuant to the Appellate Division decision in Saunders v. Capital Health System at Mercer, 398 N.J. Super. 500 (App. Div. 2008), an Affidavit of Merit only need be produced if the defendant is listed as a licensed person under N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-26. Therefore, because psychologists are not listed in the statute as licensed persons for which an Affidavit is required, the Court, in a June 20, 2013 decision, denied medical defendants’ motion to dismiss the Complaint.

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