Monday, May 20, 2024

Plaintiff Cannot Compel a Doctor to Provide a Certificate of Merit if the Doctor Does Not Wish To

In the case of Berk v. Rothman Institute Orthopedic Foundation, No. 23-1437 (E.D. Pa. March 28, 2024 Murphy, J.),  a Plaintiff sued his own doctors who declined to give him a Certificate of Merit to allow the Plaintiff to pursue a medical malpractice claim against other doctors.  The Plaintiff sued the doctors in an effort to compel them to provide him with the Certificate of Merit.

The court granted the doctors' Motion to Dismiss after finding that treating physicians do not owe their patients any fiduciary duty to provide them with a Certificate of Merit that would allow the patient to sue other doctors for medical malpractice.

The rationale for this decision was, in part, the general rule that potential experts may not be compelled to issue expert opinions against their will.

The court otherwise found that there is no valid cause of action for an alleged intentional deprivation of legal recourse for an alleged injury.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  The Court's companion Order can be viewed HERE.

I thank Attorney James M. Beck of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm for bringing this case to my attention.

Source of image:  Photo by Sasun Bughdaryn on

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