Washington Supreme Court rules malpractice scheme similar to Michigan's is unconstitutional
This week, the Washington State Supreme Court unanimously agreed that a 2006 law governing medical malpractice suits was unconstitutional. The judicial activists appointed by Governor Engler to the Michigan Supreme Court last decade had previously rejected similar challenges to several provisions of Michigan's tort "reform" statutes. In short, the Washington court rejected the concept that an injury victim must prove his claim has merit prior to filing suit and enjoying the opportunity to investigate. It noted that in many situations, reputable phyisicians will not sign a "certificate of merit" attesting to the victim's allegations, without hearing a complete explanation of what actually occurred.
Ultimately, the Court concluded, it is a violation of constitutional separation of powers for the legislature to attempt to dictate court rules and procedures to the judiciary. The so-called Engler Majority or "gang of four" overturned Michigan precedent and scoffed at this notion, even allowing the legislature to dictate which qualified experts would be allowed to testify.