Defective Notice of Intent filed by victim precludes a suit against her lawyer
Roxie Phillips filed her own mandatory Notice of Intent to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. After filing the NOI, she hired Karen McDonald Lopez to pursue a claim against the involved doctor, George Dass, M.D. Lopez apparently drafted a complaint against Dass, and filed it, but did not serve it on Dass within the time limits allowed. After the lawsuit was dismissed and the dismissal was upheld by the Court of Appeals, Phillips attempted to sue her attorney, McDonald Lopez.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the legal malpractice claim. The judges noted that since the Notice of Intent filed by Phillips was defective, the statute of limitations was never extended and therefore it had run before she hired McDonald Lopez: the attorney could not negligently damage a cause of action that no longer existed.