When you decide to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia, there are many steps in the process. To ensure that your claim is free of procedural errors, it is crucial that you understand what is required of you as the plaintiff when working with your lawyer to draft the first part of the lawsuit, otherwise known as the complaint. The complaint typically establishes what your claim is, and why you are entitled to relief in the courts. In some cases, however, you may not need to name each defendant specifically involved in the case to successfully bring a legal claim against them under Georgia’s procedural rules.
In a recent Supreme Court of Georgia opinion, the court considered a lower court’s opinion regarding whether a plaintiff sufficiently asserted his claim against the defendant. Following the plaintiff’s wife’s significant medical-malpractice related injuries after being treated by the defendants, the appellate and lower courts ruled in favor of the plaintiff and claimed that he had sufficiently asserted his claim of vicarious liability against the defendant even though he did not specifically name each doctor who treated his wife in his complaint. The state’s high court then considered whether the appellate court’s decision in siding with the plaintiff was correct.
Upon review, the court determined that the Court of Appeals did not err in its decision. The defendants again argued that the plaintiff did not sufficiently plead a vicarious liability claim because the plaintiff failed to specifically name the exact defendant physician in his complaint. The court disagreed, holding that because Georgia is a notice-pleading jurisdiction, the plaintiff successfully brought forward his claim for vicarious liability.