Pre-Suit Notice Requirement in Florida Medical Malpractice Cases - King v. Baptist Hospital of Miami
There are a number of hoops, so to speak, that a person seeking to sue for medical malpractice in Florida must jump through before filing suit. The Third District Court of Appeal explains one of them - pre-suit notice - in King v. Baptist Hospital of Miami.
Plaintiff Melissa King sent formal notices to Dr. William Thompson and his employer, Pediatric Group, PLLC, informing them that she intended to file a malpractice suit stemming from surgery and other treatment provided by Dr. Thompson to King's child at Baptist Hospital in Miami.
King then filed suit against a number of parties, including Thompson, THE University of Miami and Baptist Hospital, alleging that it was vicariously liable for Dr. Thompson's negligence. The trial court granted the hospital's motion to dismiss the claims against it, finding that King did not properly notify the hospital of her intent to file suit.
Florida law requires a plaintiff to notify each prospective defendant of his or her intent to sue prior to filing a complaint for medical negligence." Furthermore, civil procedure rule 1.650(b)(1) provides that by sending the pre-suit notice to a prospective defendant via certified mail, a plaintiff effectively gives notice to both the prospective defendant and any other prospective defendant with a legal relationship to the person or entity to whom the notice was sent.
The trial court found that there was no legal relationship between the hospital and either Dr. Thompson or Pediatric Group, and therefore their notice of the suit could not be imputed to the hospital.