The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

by Booth, George


AC39559 - Peters v. United Community & Family Services, Inc. (Medical malpractice; motion to dismiss; personal jurisdiction; sufficiency of opinion letter authored by similar health care provider; "With the intent to deter the filing of frivolous medical malpractice actions, our legislature in 1986 adopted General Statutes § 52-190a, which makes malpractice actions subject to dismissal unless the plaintiff obtains and attaches to the complaint an opinion letter written and signed by a similar health care provider indicating that there appears to be evidence of medical negligence. The meaning and application of this requirement itself has spawned extensive litigation since its enactment. This appeal is the latest iteration of this judicial journey.

The plaintiff, Steven V. Peters, Jr., commenced the underlying action for monetary damages arising out of the alleged negligent performance of maxillofacial surgery. He appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing, pursuant to § 52-190a (c), count three of his action directed against the defendant, Edward Reynolds, Jr., DDS, because the opinion letter that the plaintiff attached to the complaint failed to provide that its author is board certified by the appropriate American board in the same specialty as the defendant. The plaintiff claims on appeal that the trial court improperly relied on this court's decision in Gonzales v. Langdon, 161 Conn. App. 497, 128 A.3d 562 (2015), as the basis for its decision to reject the affidavit that he attached to his response to the motion to dismiss, in which he sought to clarify the credentials of the opinion letter's author. We conclude that, because the plaintiff's attempt to cure the defect in the opinion letter came after the relevant statute of limitations had run, the trial court properly granted the motion to dismiss on the basis of an inadequate opinion letter. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")