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Florida First DCA affirms dismissal of plaintiff’s medical negligence case, concluding that physician’s pre-suit affidavit did not sufficiently corroborate injuries arising from alleged negligence

On December 17, 2019, in Howell v. Balchunas, No. 1D19-288, the Florida First DCA affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s medical negligence case on the grounds that the plaintiff had not satisfied the medical negligence pre-suit requirements imposed by Section 766.203(2), Florida Statutes (2015). The plaintiff had submitted an affidavit from a radiologist attesting that an alleged miss-reading of the plaintiff’s CT angiogram “could have led” medical personnel to miss the correct diagnosis, “potentially leading” to improper treatment of the underlying condition. The First DCA concluded that the affidavit did not provide sufficient support for the conclusion that the alleged negligence caused the plaintiff to suffer compensable injuries. The First DCA cited its previous decision in Archer v. Maddux, 645 So. 2d 544, 544 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994), in which the Court held that in interpreting section 766.203(2), “[t]he statute calls for medical corroboration not only of negligence but also of injury in consequence.” See also Baptist Med. Ctr. of the Beaches, Inc. v. Rhodin, 40 So. 3d 112, 115 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010) (same).