Expert Affidavit In Professional Malpractice Damages Action
O.C.G.A. 9-11-9.1 (a) provides that, in an action for damages alleging professional malpractice, the plaintiff must file with the complaint an expert's affidavit setting out "specifically at least one negligent act or omission claimed to exist and the factual basis for each such claim.
" the Supreme Court of Georgia recently examined the parameters of the statute, holding that the legislature "limited 9-11-9.1 to only those actions for professional negligence by enacting a statute which stated that the necessary expert affidavit had to set forth 'a negligent act or omission claimed to exist and the factual basis for each claim.'" Labovitz v. Hopkinson, 271 Ga. 330, 336 (3) (519 S.E.2d 672) (1999).
However, "those claims grounded on a professional's intentional acts which allegedly resulted in injury to one with whom the professional had a professional relationship are not required to be accompanied by an expert affidavit." (Emphasis in original.) Id. at 336-337.
As a result, the Supreme Court concluded that the plaintiff was not required to submit an expert affidavit in support of her fraud and misrepresentation claims. Id. at 337.