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Medical Malpractice Victim Helps Uphold Constitutional Rights of Patients in Washington State Supreme Court Decision, Perey Law Announces
Date:9/17/2009

endant health care provider, stating there is a reasonable probability that the defendant was negligent in providing health care to the patient.

In the court's decision it notes, "Requiring medical malpractice plaintiffs to submit a certificate prior to discovery hinders their right of access to courts. Through the discovery process, plaintiffs uncover the evidence necessary to pursue their claims. Obtaining the evidence necessary to obtain a certificate of merit may not be possible prior to discovery, when health care workers can be interviewed and procedural manuals reviewed."

The majority then reasoned, "It is the duty of the courts to administer justice by protecting the legal rights and enforcing the legal obligations of the people. Accordingly, we must strike down this law."

"This is a stunning victory for Ms. Putman and the other injured patients and their families for whom we've long advocated," said Perey. "Injured patients now have a level playing field in lawsuits against doctors, hospitals and insurers which have limitless funds to defend lawsuits."

The court rejected various legal arguments made by the Wenatchee Valley Medical Clinic, as well as the insurance and health care industry's belief that a growing number of allegedly frivolous claims necessitate premium increases. In reality, substantial historical and statistical research by objective sources proves this so-called "medical malpractice crisis" is a myth fueled by those special interest groups.

In crafting the certificate of merit requirement, the Washington Legislature singled out doctors and hospitals for special legal treatment, changing hundreds of years of precedent. The certificate of merit requirement applied solely to health care providers - not to product manufacturers, barbers, architects, pharmaceutical companies, lawyers, airline pilots, politicians, plumbers, electricians, truck d
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SOURCE Perey Law Group
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