The Supreme Court of Oklahoma has struck down the requirement that an affidavit of merit must be filed in legal actions for professional negligence.
Under Title 12 O.S. 2011 Section 19, the plaintiff must attach an expert’s affidavit in civil actions for professional negligence. The Sooner state’s top court held in the June 4 ruling that the statute is a special law that violates the Oklahoma constitution and that it also creates an unconstitutional financial burden on access to the courts in violation of the state’s constitution.
“It is undisputed that during the course of litigation the plaintiffs will be required to prove their case, as any other cause requires. They just do not have to provide expert testimony before it can be filed,” the court said in Timothy Wall v. John S. Marouk, D.O.