Skip to main content

What is a "Certificate of Merit" in a NY Medical Malpractice Lawsuit? NY Attorney Oginski Explains

Posted by attorney Gerald Oginski

In a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York, we are required to get a medical doctor to review all of your medical records and confirm that there is a valid basis to bring a lawsuit.

Importantly, our medical expert must confirm that (1) There was wrongdoing, (2) That the wrongdoing caused injury and (3) That the injury is significant and/or permanent. Once our medical expert has confirmed each of those three elements, then we can prepare a document known as a certificate of merit.

That document must accompany the lawsuit papers known as a summons and complaint that starts your case.

Some people believe that in New York, a doctor must prepare the certificate of merit. That would be incorrect. In fact, it is the attorney who prepares the document for the court that affirms that they have had the case reviewed by a medical expert who believes there is a valid and meritorious case. The name of the physician is never disclosed.

By the way, before a lawsuit for medical malpractice can actually be started in New York we are required to have a medical expert confirm there is a valid basis to proceed forward. If a doctor is unable to confirm that the case has merit, the attorney is prohibited from filing suit.

Watch the video to learn more...

Additional resources provided by the author

Author of this guide:

Was this guide helpful?

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer