Lakeland: Court Reverses Arbitration Decision in Medical Malpractice Case

Breaking news reported by Burnetti PA

A Florida court recently reverses the arbitration decision previously awarded in a medical malpractice case. The case involved Naples Community Hospital (NCH) which is being sued by the widow of the victim of alleged malpractice.

John de Acosta and his wife Carmen de Acosta had originally filed a joint case while John was still alive. John later died and Mrs. Acosta refiled the lawsuit as a representative of Mr. Acosta’s estate. When the case was moved to a trial, the trial court directed both parties to a non-binding arbitration. Unlike standard arbitration, non-binding arbitration is not binding, so that either of the two parties can appeal against it in the court.

The arbitration awarded a judgment in favor of NCH. Mrs. Acosta rejected the arbitration and decided to take the case back in the court. It is rare for a non-binding arbitration judgment to be challenged and rarer still for the court to accept the case back. The Florida Rule of Civil Procedure typically bars arbitration decisions to be disputed.

However, in this case, Mrs. Acosta’s arguments were accepted by the Florida Second District Court of Appeal. Judge Silberman Morris, who passed the decision, noted that NCH had agreed to waive Mrs. Acosta’s strict compliance with the Civil Procedure rule. This waiver allowed her to dispute the judgment and seek a retrial.

Medical malpractice cases are typically very complicated. It is only with the help of a qualified attorney that a victim is able to seek fair compensation. In many cases, the defendant, which in this case is NCH, will hire top attorneys to turn down the plaintiff’s claim for compensation. Once the case goes to trial, a jury will also hear the testimony of medical experts on both sides to determine whether or not negligence took place.

If you have been hurt in a medical malpractice accident, contact our attorneys today for assistance.

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