Kaminski v. Goncharova
A written opinion from a similar healthcare provider is a statutory requirement in a medical-malpractice action that may not be circumvented by alleging that a doctor breached a contract. The plaintiff patient, Peter Kaminski, sued the defendant, Dr. Olga Goncharova, alleging that Goncharova breached a contract to install a crown on tooth number 18 and over prepared the tooth. The defendant moved to dismiss and argued that Kaminski failed to file a written opinion from a similar healthcare provider, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §52-190a. Kaminski objected that because the complaint alleged breach of contract, as opposed to medical malpractice, a written opinion from a similar healthcare provider was not required. "[T]he attachment of the written opinion letter of a similar health care provider is a statutory prerequisite to filing an action for medical malpractice. The failure to provide a written opinion letter, or the attachment of a written opinion letter that does not comply with §52-190a, constitutes insufficient process," pursuant to Morgan v. Hartford Hospital, a 2011 decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court. To prevail the plaintiff patient, Kaminski, will be required to establish that the defendant doctor departed from the standard of care for dentists. "[I]t is clear," wrote the court, "that the plaintiff has brought an action for medical malpractice as opposed to breach of contract." The court construed the plaintiff's complaint to allege medical malpractice and concluded that the plaintiff was required to file a written opinion from a similar healthcare provider, to comply with C.G.S. §52-190a. The court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss.