Smyre v. Amaral et al.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re 4 in-camera review of affidavit of merit. Signed by Judge Mary Pat Thynge on 6/28/13. (cak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
JASON AMARAL, JOYCE JOHNSON,
LEROY WILLIAMS, AND
MHM SERVICES, INC.,
C. A. No. : 13-387-SLR-MPT
Upon motion by defendant MHM Services, Inc., under 18 Del. C. § 6853(d), the
court has considered in camera whether the affidavit of merit filed by plaintiff in this
medical negligence case complies with subdivisions (a)(1) and (c) of 18 Del. 6853.
Section 6853(a)(1) of Title 18 of the Delaware Code provides that all healthcare
negligence complaints must be accompanied by an affidavit of merit as to each
defendant, signed by an expert witness, as defined in 18 Del. C. § 6854, accompanied
by a current curriculum vitae of the witness, and stating that there are reasonable
grounds to believe that there has been healthcare medical negligence committed by
each defendant. The purpose of § 6853 is to “require that expert medical testimony be
presented to allege a deviation from the applicable standard of care.”1
Dishmon v. Fucci, 32 A.3d 338, 342 (Del. 2011) (citation omitted).
The court has reviewed the affidavit of merit and the accompanying curriculum
vitae. The court finds:
The affidavit is signed by an expert witness, as defined in 18 DEL. C. §
The affidavit is accompanied by a current curriculum vitae.
The affidavit sets forth the expert’s opinion consistent with the
requirements of 18 DEL. C. § 6853.
The expert witness was licensed to practice as a professional counselor
(LPC) in the State of Delaware as of the date of the affidavit.
In the three years immediately preceding the alleged negligent act(s), the
expert witness was engaged in the treatment of patients in the field of
medicine at issue in plaintiff’s amended complaint, that is, mental health.
Therefore, having reviewed in camera the sealed affidavit of merit and
accompanying curriculum vitae of plaintiff’s expert witness, the court finds the affidavit
of merit complies with sections 6853 (a)(1) and (c) of Title 18 of the Delaware Code.
Date: June 28 , 2013
Mary Pat Thynge
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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