Malpractice insurer's claims of technical defects are rejected.
The family of Donny Harrison sued Harper Hospital and Dr. Paul Swerdlow, alleging that Swerdlow provided inaequate care to their child. Swerdlow's insurer attempted to dismiss the case alleging technical defects in the Notice of Intent filed by the family and in the qualifications of the family's physician expert witness.Although the family had consulted with a board certified expert in pediatric hematology, which was precisely the "most relevant specialty" under consideration, the insurer's attorneys argued that the doctor the family consulted could not testify because the Defendant was board certified in Internal Medicine and hematology, and not in Pediatrics. In reliance on prior decisions of the appellate courts including the Michigan Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals rejected this claim out-of-hand: Donny was a pediatric patient being treated for a hematology issue: the family's retained expert exhibited precisely the relevant credentials to match the allegedly negligent care.
The Court also rejected the insurer's claim that the Notice of Intent filed months before suit inadequately apprised them of Swerdlow's alleged violations of the standard of care. The Court pointed out that the Notice "must be viewed as a whole" and was adequate because "no guesswork is required to appreciate" the nature of the family's wrongful death claim.