Can You Sue a Personal Care Home for Professional Liability ?
In Herrmann v. Pristine Pines of Franklin Park, Inc., 64 Pa. D & C 4th 14 (2003), the plaintiff was the executrix of the estate of Ms.Tetrick.
Ms. Tetrick was alleged to have died as a result to blunt trauma to her head.
She was found lying on the floor of her room at a personal care home.
The personal care home was granted judgment of non pros based on its assertion that it was a licensed professional and plaintiff had not filed a timely certificate of merit.
The plaintiff filed a petition to strike or open with the trial court.
The trial court determined that the complaint did not identify the personal care home as a licensed professional or allege a professional liability claim.
As such, the trial court held as follows:
Where a complaint does not allege that the plaintiff is asserting a professional liability claim against a defendant, the plaintiff is not required to file a certificate of merit as to this defendant unless the plaintiff subsequently files an amended complaint stating that the plaintiff is asserting a professional liability claim against the defendant.
Through the filing of preliminary objections, a defendant may seek a court order compelling the plaintiff to file such an amended complaint on the ground that the plaintiff is asserting a professional liability claim against this defendant.
If the defendant does not file preliminary objections, the defendant waives its claim that the plaintiff has violated the rule requiring the filing of the certificate of merit. Herrmann, 64 Pa. D. & C. 4th at 20.