Mental Health Facility Is Not Subject To Medical Malpractice Act

January 22, 2013
By Mark A. Kaire on January 22, 2013 3:13 PM |

The Florida Medical Malpractice Act is a virtual mine field that all Medical Malpractice Lawyers must navigate carefully.

The first decision confronting a Medical Malpractice Lawyer is whether the claim is a Medical Malpractice Claim or a general negligence claim. If the claim is in fact a Medical Malpractice Claim, then the Plaintiff must comply with the presuit rrequirements of the Florida Medical Malpractice Act. Said requirements include investigation by the parties, notice to the prospective defendant, and an "expert" affidavit.

In Pierrot v Osceola Mental Health Inc, 38 FLW D131, the 5th D.C.A. held that a mental health facility was not a health care provider, and thus the claim was not govrned by the Florida Medical Malpractice Act.

The 5th D.C.A., stated that the primary test for whether a claim is one for Medical Malpractice is whether the claim relies on the application of the Medical Malpractice Standard of Care, and whether the provider is a health care provider.

In Pierrot, the facility was a mental health facility licensed under chapter 394, which does not fall within any of the defenitions under the Medical Malpractice Act.

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