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Case No. 20-0724

Jessica McHugh
Adam B. Smith, M.D., and Tri-State Specialists, LLP


Jessica McHugh


Adam B. Smith, M.D., and Tri-State Specialists, LLP

Attorney for the Appellant

William J. Hale and Joel M. Carney

Attorney for the Appellee

John C. Gray and Joel D. Vos

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Mar 17, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Patrick H. Tott, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (13 pages)

            Jessica McHugh appeals from a district court order dismissing her medical malpractice action against Dr. Adam B. Smith and Tri-State Specialists, LLP for failing to timely file her expert witness’s certificate of merit affidavit under Iowa Code section 147.140 (2017).  She contends she substantially complied with the requirements of the statute and her case should not have been dismissed.  In the alternative, she argues she should be excused from strict compliance with the statute because of “simple error.”  As another alternative, she asserts her lack of compliance should be excused because the trial scheduling and discovery plan omitted the statutory deadline for filing the certificate of merit affidavit.  OPINION HOLDS: We find McHugh failed to substantially comply with the requirement of filing a certificate of merit affidavit under section 147.140.  We find no other ground to reverse the dismissal.  Thus we affirm the district court. 

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