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What is M.G.L. c. 231 §60L and How Does It Apply to a Medical Malpractice Claim

Kathryn_Wickenheiser

Kathryn Wickenheiser    kwickenheiser@kecheslaw.com

 

When filing a new lawsuit, one must keep the above law in-mind.  In short, we call this “60L Notice.”

Anyone intending to file a claim for Medical Malpractice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must give written notice of (6) six months (182 days) to each health care provider, entity and corporation intended to be named as a defendant.  This notice shall contain a factual basis for the claim; the applicable standard of care alleged by the claimant; the manner in which the claimant alleges the standard of care was violated; the alleged action that should have been taken to achieve compliance with the alleged standard of care; the manner in which it is alleged that the breach of the standard of care was the proximate cause of the injury claimed in the notice; and the names of all health care providers that the claimant intends to notify.  The claimant must also furnish a copy of all medical records related to the claim of negligence within 56 days of giving notice.

The statute then requires the to be named defendant(s) to furnish a response accepting or denying liability (negligence) within 150 days.  If, the to be named defendant(s) fails to respond, the claimant may file suit upon the expiration of the time period. If at any time during the applicable notice period all to be named defendants inform the claimant in writing that the health care provider does not intend to settle the claim within the applicable notice period, the claimant may file suit immediately.

Two exception to this rule exist. One, when a claim for Medical Malpractice is within three months of the statute of limitations expiring; and two, within one year of the state of repose expiring.  In either case, a claim may be filed with the court without giving “60L  Notice” to the defendant(s).