Big Win for Suisman Shapiro in Supreme Court
A law which requires plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases to obtain a detailed opinion letter from a health care expert was the issue at hand when the case was previously dismissed. The law included some very technical requirements regarding this type of letter, involving explanation of the grounds for the malpractice case and proof of the expert’s credentials.
Connecticut courts had long held that the failure to adhere to the strict, technical requirements of this law deprived the court of authority over malpractice cases. This interpretation, which had existed for nearly twelve years, caused many injured by physicians’ carelessness to lose their right to pursue a claim. Prior to retaining Suisman Shapiro, this client was nearly one such person.
While being represented by a different firm, the client’s case was dismissed due to alleged problems in the opinion letter. Attorney Heiser and Attorney Zrenda submitted briefs to the Supreme Court, and Attorney Zrenda argued before six of its Justices. In a unanimous decision, the Court reversed more than ten years of precedent, and ruled that the opinion letter was no longer a jurisdictional requirement.
This decision will have implications across the state for years to come and help ensure claimants with legitimate malpractice claims are not bounced out of Court on technicalities concerning opinion letters. More importantly for Suisman Shapiro’s client is that the Court found the opinion letter in his case adequate and sent the matter back to the trial court for further proceedings.