Gomez v. Jack L. Gish & Associates Inc.
A court may dismiss a medical-malpractice suit, if the plaintiff fails to provide a written opinion of a "similar health care provider" that complies with the requirements in Connecticut General Statutes §52-190a. The plaintiff, Carlos Gomez, alleged that the defendant dental practice committed medical malpractice. The plaintiff sued and attached to the complaint a written opinion that the defendant made numerous medical errors. The defendant moved to dismiss and argued that the written medical opinion did not meet the requirements of C.G.S. §52-190a. The plaintiff's objection appeared to indicate that the writer of the medical opinion was a doctor of dental surgery. "The ultimate purpose of [the] requirement [of a written opinion] is to [discourage frivolous lawsuits by] [demonstrating] the existence of the claimant's good faith in bringing the complaint by having a witness, qualified under General Statutes [§]52-184c, state in written form that there appears to be evidence of a breach of the applicable standard of care," pursuant to Wilcox v. Schwartz, a 2012 decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court. "The only plausible application of the plain language of §§52-190a and 52-184c requires disclosure of qualifications in the opinion letter," pursuant to Lucisano v. Bisson, a decision of the Connecticut Appellate Court. The court found that the plaintiff's written medical opinion did not disclose the writer's area of practice, amount of experience, qualifications or education. There was insufficient information to know whether the writer qualified as a "similar health care provider" to the defendant dental practice. The written medical opinion did not meet the requirements of C.G.S. §52-190a, and the court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss.