Affidavit of Merit Law & Legal Definition


An affidavit of merit is a requirement in some jurisdictions, primarily in medical malpractice claims, to have an expert file an affidavit stating the claim has merit. It is a measure enacted to deter frivolous lawsuits. When a plaintiff in a medical liability lawsuit does not file an affidavit of merit with the complaint, the case may be dismissed.

The following is a State Statute ( Michigan) on Affidavit of Merit:

MCLS § 600.2912d . Action alleging medical malpractice; complaint to be accompanied by affidavit of merit; filing extension; failure to allow access to medical records.

Sec. 2912d. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the plaintiff in an action alleging medical malpractice or, if the plaintiff is represented by an attorney, the plaintiff's attorney shall file with the complaint an affidavit of merit signed by a health professional who the plaintiff's attorney reasonably believes meets the requirements for an expert witness under section 2169. The affidavit of merit shall certify that the health professional has reviewed the notice and all medical records supplied to him or her by the plaintiff's attorney concerning the allegations contained in the notice and shall contain a statement of each of the following:

(a) The applicable standard of practice or care.

(b) The health professional's opinion that the applicable standard of practice or care was breached by the health professional or health facility receiving the notice.

(c) The actions that should have been taken or omitted by the health professional or health facility in order to have complied with the applicable standard of practice or care.

(d) The manner in which the breach of the standard of practice or care was the proximate cause of the injury alleged in the notice.

(2) Upon motion of a party for good cause shown, the court in which the complaint is filed may grant the plaintiff or, if the plaintiff is represented by an attorney, the plaintiff's attorney an additional 28 days in which to file the affidavit required under subsection (1).

(3) If the defendant in an action alleging medical malpractice fails to allow access to medical records within the time period set forth in section 2912b(6), the affidavit required under subsection (1) may be filed within 91 days after the filing of the complaint.