In an October post, “Those Affidavit Blues” (linked here), I praised the Supreme Court for letting stand a Court of Appeals decision that overturned one of those unfortunate “expert affidavit” dismissals.
Last week a Court of Appeals unpublished decision, Tollefson v. Keck, rejected another attempt to preclude a plaintiff from a trial due to an allegedly deficient expert affidavit.
Judge Margaret Chutich writes: “Section 145.682 was not passed to prevent meritorious cases from being determined by a factfinder; the statute was passed to identify and to aid the dismissal of meritless lawsuits in the early stages of litigation when a plaintiff cannot demonstrate that a qualified expert believes that the alleged malpractice directly caused the plaintiff’s injury.”
That just about says it all.
With a few more consistent decisions like this from our appellate courts, perhaps our District Court judges will get the message. These motions should not be seen as an opportunity to trim overloaded dockets.