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Too Little, Too Late – Untimely Filed Affidavit of Merit Requires Dismissal of Medical Negligence Lawsuit

Giudicy v. Mercy Hosps. E. Cmtys., 645 S.W.3d 492 (Mo. 2022) is a Supreme Court of Missouri case that dealt with the statutory affidavit of merit requirement in a medical negligence suit. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 538.225 requires a plaintiff to file an affidavit of merit against each defendant within 90 days after suit has been filed. The statute permits a court to extend the deadline, but not longer than 90 days, meaning there is an absolute 180-day deadline for the filing of an affidavit of merit. An affidavit of merit must be signed by the plaintiff or her attorney and state that she has obtained a written opinion from a legally qualified health care provider stating the defendant health care provider failed to use reasonable care, and that failure caused the plaintiff’s damages.

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