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An Unverified Expert Opinion is Not Enough

As we know, courts will look for every opportunity to allow a litigant to have their day in court but they will not do so when every opportunity is available to follow the statutory procedures within the statute of limitations period.

In a recent opinion out of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, the court recognized that a plaintiff used a letter authored by a medical expert as their presuit opinion but that the letter, being unverified, was nothing more than that-a letter. The letter did not suffice as an expert opinion when suit was filed because it failed to be a “verified written expert opinion.”  The Plaintiff had every opportunity to convert the letter by verifying it within the requirements of Chapter 766,  but failed to do so before the expiration of the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice action. This left the court with little to do but dismiss the case with prejudice for failing to provide a properly verified corroborating expert opinion prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

 

Berry v. Padden, et al, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D743a (4th DCA, March 28, 2012)