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Malpractice claim dismissed because Notice served on DMC subsidiary has improper address

Lorean Allen was allegedly injured by the negligence of a nurse working at Harper Hospital, one of the subsidiaries of the Detroit Medical Center (DMC).  The Court of Appeals opinion does not document what Allen's injuries were:  since the case is being dismissed, we can surmise that the judges did not describe her injuries because they were severe and would have engendered sympathy for a victim whose claim is dismissed on a technicality.

The principal defendant in the case was, in fact, the DMC--who received a proper Notice at the proper address.  Nevertheless, by statute, the Notice of Intent to Sue must be served on the allegedly negligent nurse(s) at her "last known professional business or residential address" (even if the victim sues only the nurse's employer).  In this instance, the victim's attorney sent the nurse's notice to the DMC, but sent the Notice addressed to the nurse to Sinai-Grace Hospital, rather than to Harper Hospital.

Even though Allen's notice went to the DMC and it shares a corporate address with its subsidiary, Harper Hospital, and even though the notice identified Allen as a Harper patient, the court held that the notice did not comply with the statutory address requirement, and therefore Allen's lawsuit was dismissed.  In other words, the right office recieved a Notice that met the substantive requirements and properly identified the nurse and her employer, apparently, however, the duplicate copy directly addressed to the at-fault nurse was improperly titled "Sinai-Grace," and as a result the case was dismissed.  That qualifies as "reform" in Michigan.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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