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Hunter v. SCL Health-Front Range, Inc.

2022 COA 41. No. 20CA1776.  Professional Liability—Medical Malpractice—Certificate of Review.

April 14, 2022

Plaintiffs sued a hospital, a physician group, nurse Scism, four other nurses, and three doctors, alleging that Hunter was injured by the negligent insertion of a catheter. Scism and the hospital filed motions to dismiss. The district court concluded that plaintiffs’ certificates of review were insufficient and granted the motions.

Plaintiffs argued on appeal that the district court misapplied the law pertaining to certificates of review. In actions for damages or indemnity based on a licensed professional’s alleged professional negligence, the plaintiff’s attorney must file with the court a certificate of review for each named licensed professional declaring “that the person consulted can demonstrate by competent evidence that, as a result of training, education, knowledge, and experience, the consultant is competent to express an opinion as to the negligent conduct alleged.” Plaintiffs met the statutory requirements here. Therefore, the district court misapplied the law by faulting plaintiffs for failing to further describe the expert’s qualifications.

The Court of Appeals declined to exercise discretion to affirm the judgment on a ground not relied on by the district court.

The judgment of dismissal in favor of Scism and the hospital was reversed and the case was remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Official Colorado Court of Appeals proceedings can be found at the Colorado Court of Appeals website.

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