Medical Malpractice:

Certificate of Merit

A certificate of merit is a statement from another medical professional that confirms that the plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit has a legitimate cause of action. Usually a physician impartial to the case reviews the medical records pertinent to the case and certifies that the defendant (the one being sued for malpractice) strayed from the accepted medical standard of care.  The certificate of merit also certifies that the plaintiff suffered injury as a result of this action or inaction. The plaintiff's attorney will then file the certificate of merit.  Ultimately, this document serves to confirm that the attorney has consulted with a medical expert and that the plaintiff's medical malpractice lawsuit has merit. The requirements for certificates of merit vary by state.