231 Pa. Code § 1042.3

Current through Register Vol. 50, No. 26, June 27, 2020
Rule 1042.3 - Certificate of Merit
(a) In any action based upon an allegation that a licensed professional deviated from an acceptable professional standard, the attorney for the plaintiff, or the plaintiff if not represented, shall file with the complaint or within sixty days after the filing of the complaint, a certificate of merit signed by the attorney or party that either
(1) an appropriate licensed professional has supplied a written statement that there exists a reasonable probability that the care, skill or knowledge exercised or exhibited in the treatment, practice or work that is the subject of the complaint, fell outside acceptable professional standards and that such conduct was a cause in bringing about the harm, or
(2) the claim that the defendant deviated from an acceptable professional standard is based solely on allegations that other licensed professionals for whom this defendant is responsible deviated from an acceptable professional standard, or
(3) expert testimony of an appropriate licensed professional is unnecessary for prosecution of the claim.
(b)
(1) A separate certificate of merit shall be filed as to each licensed professional against whom a claim is asserted.
(2) If a complaint raises claims under both subdivisions (a)(1) and (a)(2) against the same defendant, the attorney for the plaintiff, or the plaintiff if not represented, shall file
(i) a separate certificate of merit as to each claim raised, or
(ii) a single certificate of merit stating that claims are raised under both subdivisions (a)(1) and (a)(2).
(c)
(1) A defendant who files a counterclaim asserting a claim for professional liability shall file a certificate of merit as required by this rule.
(2) A defendant or an additional defendant who has joined a licensed professional as an additional defendant or asserted a cross-claim against a licensed professional need not file a certificate of merit unless the joinder or cross-claim is based on acts of negligence that are unrelated to the acts of negligence that are the basis for the claim against the joining or cross-claiming party.
(d)

The court, upon good cause shown, shall extend the time for filing a certificate of merit for a period not to exceed sixty days. A motion to extend the time for filing a certificate of merit must be filed by the thirtieth day after the filing of a notice of intention to enter judgment of non pros on a professional liability claim under Rule 1042.6(a) or on or before the expiration of the extended time where a court has granted a motion to extend the time to file a certificate of merit, whichever is greater. The filing of a motion to extend tolls the time period within which a certificate of merit must be filed until the court rules upon the motion.

The moving party must act with reasonable diligence to see that the motion is promptly presented to the court if required by local practice.

In ruling upon a motion to extend time, the court shall give appropriate consideration to the practicalities of securing expert review. There is a basis for granting an extension of time within which to file the certificate of merit if counsel for the plaintiff was first contacted shortly before the statute of limitations was about to expire, or if, despite diligent efforts by counsel, records necessary to review the validity of the claim are not available.

(e) If a certificate of merit is not signed by an attorney, the party signing the certificate of merit shall, in addition to the other requirements of this rule, attach to the certificate of merit the written statement from an appropriate licensed professional as required by subdivisions (a)(1) and (2). If the written statement is not attached to the certificate of merit, a defendant seeking to enter a judgment of non pros shall file a written notice of intent to enter a judgment of non pros for failure to file a written statement under Rule 1042.11.

231 Pa. Code § 1042.3

Amended by Pennsylvania Bulletin, Vol 46, No. 16. April 16, 2016, effective 4/16/2016