Mandy Smith, Frank Roberts, Jay Azzarone, and Lou La Cava Obtain Summary Judgment Win in Medical Malpractice Case

Amanda Smith, Frank Roberts, Jason Azzarone, and Lou La CavaAmanda Smith, Frank Roberts, Jason Azzarone, and Lou La Cava were successful in obtaining summary judgment in Lee County based on Plaintiff’s failure to comply with multiple provisions of Chapter 766, Florida Statues, governing the medical malpractice pre-suit screening requirements. Specifically, the Defendant argued that Plaintiff failed to serve a Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation for Medical Negligence (“NOI”) in accordance with F.S. 766.106(2)(a) and F.R.C.P. 1.650 and failed to provide evidence that the Plaintiff and/or his attorneys conducted a good faith investigation pursuant to F.S. 766.104 and provide Defendants, their attorneys, and/or insurers, with a verified written medical expert opinion from a qualified medical expert in accordance with F.S. 766.102, 766.202, and 766.203.

The Defendant further argued that Plaintiff had ample notice of the pre-suit deficiency with time to cure said deficiency, but did not do so. The Court found that neither the Defendant doctor, nor her employer were put on notice of the potential claim, nor were they named in the NOI that was sent to the co-defendant hospital. The court acknowledged the imputed notice arguments made by Plaintiff and cited in the Young v. Naples Community Hospital Inc., 129 So. 3d 456, 459–60 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014), but relied upon two cases cited by the Defendant, Bonati v. Allen (911 So2d 285, (2005)) and Brundage v. Evans (295 So.3d 300 (2020)), which illustrated that, pre-suit investigation requirements under Florida Statute section 766.203 demanded some specificity towards potential defendants in pre-suit, and a valid notice alone without corroboration does not suffice to meet pre-suit requirements.