The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 002 : PLEADINGS GENERALLY(Cite as: 12 V.S.A. § 1042)
§ 1042. Certificate of merit
(a) No civil action shall be filed to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death occurring on or after February 1, 2013, in which it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the negligence of a health care provider, unless the attorney or party filing the action files a certificate of merit simultaneously with the filing of the complaint. In the certificate of merit, the attorney or plaintiff shall certify that he or she has consulted with a health care provider qualified pursuant to the requirements of Rule 702 of the Vermont Rules of Evidence and any other applicable standard, and that, based on the information reasonably available at the time the opinion is rendered, the health care provider has:
(1) described the applicable standard of care;
(2) indicated that based on reasonably available evidence, there is a reasonable likelihood that the plaintiff will be able to show that the defendant failed to meet that standard of care; and
(3) indicated that there is a reasonable likelihood that the plaintiff will be able to show that the defendant's failure to meet the standard of care caused the plaintiff's injury.
(b) A plaintiff may satisfy this requirement through multiple consultations that collectively meet the requirements of subsection (a) of this section.
(c) A plaintiff must certify to having consulted with a health care provider as set forth in subsection (a) of this section with respect to each defendant identified in the complaint.
(d) Upon petition to the clerk of the court where the civil action will be filed, an automatic 90-day extension of the statute of limitations shall be granted to allow the reasonable inquiry required by this section.
(e) The failure to file the certificate of merit as required by this section shall be grounds for dismissal of the action without prejudice, except in the rare instances in which a court determines that expert testimony is not required to establish a case for medical malpractice.
(f) The requirements set forth in this section shall not apply to claims where the sole allegation against the health care provider is failure to obtain informed consent. (Added 2011, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 24a, eff. Feb. 1, 2013.)