Enacted in 1995, New Jersey Statute § 2A:53A-27, commonly known as the Affidavit of Merit Statute, was designed to reduce the number of frivolous professional liability and medical malpractice lawsuits in the state. The statute requires that a plaintiff provide an affidavit from a licensed professional attesting that the defendant’s actions deviated from the accepted standard of care.
The affidavit must be signed by a licensed professional in the same field as the defendant, and filed within 60 days (or 120 days if shown to have good reason) from the time the defendant files an answer to the complaint. Rule 4:5B-4, requires that the court schedule a case management conference before that time period expires. Prior to the enactment of this rule, plaintiffs were not given explicit notice of the requirement of an affidavit. This was problematic, in particular, for pro se plaintiffs attempting to represent themselves in cases against medical doctors and other professionals.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of medical negligence, you should contact an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer. These are complex cases requiring a great deal of investigation and analysis by qualified medical professionals. Call us for a free consultation.