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Deadlines and facts are important in a medical malpractice case

During a personal injury lawsuit, there is typically a complaint and a response. After those documents are filed with the court, a party can file a motion for summary judgment. This motion says that even if everything in the complaint is 100 percent true, there is no valid claim and the lawsuit should be dismissed against the defendant.

The goal at this stage of the case is for the plaintiff to allege a question of fact that needs to be decided by a judge or jury while the defendant wants to assert that there are no questions of fact and there is no valid claim.

In a recent case, the Indiana Court of Appeals allowed a summary judgment motion against a pair of doctors, which they had attempted to defeat by listing their credentials and stating their treatment met the standard of care.

The plaintiff's case was bolstered by the fact that the medical review panel agreed unanimously that the doctors did not meet the standard of care.

It appears that the doctors had additional factual information regarding the case, but they did not submit that information until 81 days after their summary judgment motion had been filed. The court reminds them that this was 51 days too late, as the time limit for supplemental affidavits to be filed was 30 days.

This why timeliness is important in any lawsuit because failing to file motions or documents on time can result in the end of your case. The doctors likely would still have lost had they gone to trial, but their slow response means there will be no trial.

 

Source: theindianalawer.com, "Doctors' affidavits cannot defeat summary judgment," Jennifer Nelson, February 1, 2016

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