June 9, 2014
BARBARA COHEN-THOMAS and VAN THOMAS, Plaintiffs,
GABRIEL E. LEWULLIS, M.D., and CAPITAL ORTHOPAEDIC SPECIALISTS, P.A., Defendants.
Submitted: April 23, 2014
Upon Defendants' Motion to Determine if Plaintiffs' Affidavit of Merit Complies with 18 Delaware Code § 6853.
M. Jane Brady Superior Court Judge.
This is a medical negligence claim filed by Barbara Cohen-Thomas and Van Thomas ("Plaintiffs") against Dr. Gabriel E. Lewullis and Capital Orthopaedic Specialists, P.A. ("Defendants").
Pursuant to 18 Del. C. § 6853(a)(1), a medical negligence complaint must be accompanied by an Affidavit of Merit and current curriculum vitae from a qualified expert witness. The Affidavit of Merit must be filed under seal, but a defendant can request an in camera review of the Affidavit to ensure that it complies with the specific, statutory requirements of 18 Del. C. § 6853(c).
On April 23, 2014, Defendants filed a Motion for Review of Plaintiffs' Affidavit of Merit. The Court has reviewed the Affidavit of Merit and the Court finds as follows:
1. The Affidavit is signed by an expert witness.
2. The Affidavit is accompanied by a current curriculum vitae.
3. The Affidavit does comply with Del. C. § 6853(a)(1).
4. The Affidavit does state, with a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that in the expert's opinion there are reasonable grounds to believe that the applicable standards of care were breached by each Defendant and that breach was the proximate cause of the injuries alleged in Plaintiffs' Complaint.
4. The expert was a licensed physician as of the date of the Affidavit.
5. For at least three years immediately prior to the alleged negligent act(s), the expert was engaged in the treatment of patients and/or the teaching/academic side of medicine in the same or similar field of medicine as Defendants.
6. The expert is board-certified in Orthopedic Surgery. THEREFORE, having reviewed the Affidavit of Merit, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have met the requirements set forth in 18 Del. C. § 6853.
IT IS SO ORDERED.