Superior Court Holds That Failure to File Certificate of Merit Precludes Med Mal Claim

Date: April 18, 2007

In a recent decision issued March 27, 2007, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a trial court decision which dismissed a medical malpractice suit based upon plaintiff’s failure to file the requisite certificate of merit.
In Shon v. Karason, the Court held that the patient’s complaint did not set forth a claim of lack of informed consent or a claim of negligent conduct independent of a professional duty. Instead, the complaint set forth a claim of professional negligence, such that certificate of merit was required. In the complaint, the patient alleged that he suffered various injuries and damages solely as a result of the negligence and substandard care of podiatrist in removing neuroma on patient’s foot, and patient alleged that podiatrist’s professional conduct fell below the standard of care.
The Superior Court stated that the defendant podiatrist’s corporation fell within the definition of health care or professional medical services for purposes of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act’s definition of health care provider. Allowing the corporation, which functioned as podiatry center, to conduct business in Pennsylvania sufficed as “approval” by the Commonwealth, as required by MCARE Act, and as such, the corporation constituted a licensed professional and was a “health care provider” under MCARE Act, such that a certificate of merit was required to maintain an action in professional negligence.
Thomas P. Cummings, Esq.

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.