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Unlike in Pennsylvania, our courts do not require a plaintiff to produce a certificate of merit as a prerequisite for instituting medical malpractice claims. The certificate of merit is designed to confirm that the medical procedures in a case fall outside acceptable standards. When the requirement was introduced in Pennsylvania in 2003, the number of medical malpractice filings went from 2904 in 2002 to 1712 the following year, a 41% drop. Since then, medical malpractice…
The system proposed in Missouri, which allows for an adjustment of the cap depending on the severity of the injury, may represent an attractive option should some form of capping be introduced in South Africa. There is already an existing body of expertise and precedent for assessing the severity of injuries which has sprung up around the “serious injury assessment” required by the Road Accident Fund Act. The US state of Missouri will shortly reintroduce…
Melissa Rivers, the daughter of the late Fashion Police star, Joan Rivers, is reportedly instituting a wrongful death claim against the medical practitioners who treated her mom prior to her death in September 2014. A wrongful death claim can be instituted in South Africa based on negligence which results in death, although this is not all that a plaintiff must prove. In South Africa, a plaintiff must prove not only that the wrongful death was…
In Regent Insurance v King’s Property Development the appeal court confirmed that when dealing with avoidance of a policy for material non-disclosure: The test for materiality is objective taken from the view of the reasonable person in the insurer’s position. The test for inducement is subjective taken from the view of the particular insurer. The court remarked that it would be difficult for an insured to argue that there was no inducement if the non-disclosure…
The supreme court of appeal has endorsed calls to jettison the term res ipsa loquitor (the thing speaks for itself) completely from our law. The court remarked that res ipsa loquitur is not a legal rule, is misleading and is unnecessary. Res ipsa loquitur has for some time been championed by plaintiff attorneys in medico-legal circles as a special legal doctrine to be employed despite the appellate division’s seminal 1924 decision in Van Wyk v…
Social media is not immune to defamation laws. More and more, courts locally and around the world have come to the aid of those who are the subject of defamatory statements made on Twitter and Facebook. The danger of social media is that it’s so easy to tweet before you think. To avoid getting caught up in a costly defamation fight: Think before you post. Posting in a moment of anger or without knowledge of…