Tanych v. The Milford Hospital
In a medical-malpractice suit against an emergency room doctor, a written opinion of a board-certified family practitioner who is experienced in emergency medicine may be insufficient to comply with Connecticut General Statutes §52-184(c). Allegedly, the plaintiff, Michael Tanych, fell asleep, rolled off his bed and injured his head, neck and hand, after he was admitted to the Milford Hospital and administered 50 milligrams of Benadryl. Tanych sued Dr. John Scarfo and the hospital, alleging that they were negligent. The defendants moved to dismiss and argued that the written opinion attached to the plaintiff's complaint was not written by a "similar healthcare provider," as required by C.G.S. §52-190a. The court found that the plaintiff's complaint alleged that Dr. Scarfo prescribed and administered the Benadryl. Allegations against Dr. Scarfo involved the exercise of medical judgment and arose out of the medical professional-patient relationship. Dr. Scarfo is a specialist in emergency and internal medicine. The author of the plaintiff's written opinion is experienced in emergency medicine and board-certified in family practice. C.G.S. §52-184(c) requires that the author of the written opinion is an individual who is trained, experienced and certified in the same specialty, which is emergency medicine. The court granted the motion to dismiss the plaintiff's allegations against Dr. Scarfo. Allegations against the hospital for negligent supervision and unidentified hospital workers who allegedly did not exercise medical judgment survived, because they sounded in ordinary negligence and a written opinion was not required.