ARTICLE:  Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. Ann. Article 4590i Section 13.01's Expert Report Requirement: A Statutory Sword & Shield Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2000 South Texas Law Review, Inc.
South Texas Law Review

ARTICLE:  Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. Ann. Article 4590i Section 13.01's Expert Report Requirement: A Statutory Sword & Shield

Spring, 2000

South Texas Law Review

41 S. Tex. L. Rev. 577


Andrea F. Lopes*


I. Introduction
The Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act was passed in 1977 to address what the legislature perceived as a "medical malpractice insurance crisis in the State of Texas." 1 The Texas Legislature used this legislation as a tool to curb and eliminate what it believed were frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits filed by the plaintiffs' bar. 2 In its effort to achieve this result, the legislature implemented both substantive and procedural guidelines into article 4590i, including expert report provisions, 3 notice provisions, 4 statute of limitations provisions, 5 limits on liability provisions, 6 discovery procedure provisions, 7 and computation of prejudgment interest provisions. 8 In addition to these provisions, the legislature has also restricted the use of res ipsa loquitur 9 and enacted specific requirements for informed consent cases. 10

One of the most important areas that the legislature has decided to regulate is the plaintiff's production of expert reports under article 4590i, section 13.01. This section was originally "enacted to address the perceived problem that litigants were filing unmeritorious claims against medical practitioners which were not adequately investigated in a timely manner" which "led doctors to settle such suits, regardless of the merits, and also to expend great amounts of money on defending against ultimately "frivolous claims.'" 11 However, as originally enacted this section did not achieve the goal of the legislature, as the act required only that plaintiff's counsel submit an affidavit stating that he had obtained a written opinion from an expert who had knowledge of ...
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