Dwyer v. Bio-Medical Application of CT Inc.
Allegations that a patient who used a walker was left unattended, without the walker or the assistance of a medical assistant or nurse, at a dialysis center, and slipped and fell, do not require a written opinion from a similar healthcare provider. Allegedly, the plaintiff, who uses a walker, required dialysis and went to the defendant's dialysis center in Meriden, Conn. for treatment. The plaintiff's complaint alleged that the defendant's agents or employees knew that the plaintiff required assistance to mount and to step off a scale and negligently left the plaintiff unattended, without his walker, when he was on the scale. The plaintiff sued the defendant, alleging that he fell and was injured. The defendant moved to dismiss and argued that the plaintiff failed to attach a written opinion of a similar healthcare provider, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §52-190a. The plaintiff objected that a written opinion was not required, because his complaint alleged ordinary negligence, as opposed to medical malpractice. The court found that the alleged negligence of the defendant was not related substantially to medical diagnosis or treatment and did not require the exercise of medical knowledge or judgment. "[K]nowing not to leave a person without their walker on a tripping hazard," wrote the court, "does not involve any medical knowledge or judgment." C.G.S. §52-190a does not apply, and a written opinion is not required. The court denied the defendant's motion to dismiss.