2323.451 Affidavits of merit; discovery; joinder.

(A)

(1) As used in this section, "medical claim" has the same meaning as in section 2305.113 of the Revised Code.

(2) This section may be used in lieu of, and not in addition to, division (B)(1) of section 2305.113 of the Revised Code.

(B) At the time of filing a complaint asserting a medical claim, the plaintiff shall file with the complaint, pursuant to rule 10(D) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, an affidavit of merit relative to each defendant named in the complaint or a motion to extend the period of time to file an affidavit of merit.

(C) The parties may conduct discovery as permitted by the Rules of Civil Procedure. Additionally, for the period of time specified in division (D)(2) of this section, the parties may seek to discover the existence or identity of any other potential medical claims or defendants that are not included or named in the complaint. All parties shall provide the discovery under this division in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure.

(D)

(1) Within the period of time specified in division (D)(2) of this section, the plaintiff, in an amendment to the complaint pursuant to rule 15 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, may join in the action any additional medical claim or defendant if the original one-year period of limitation applicable to that additional medical claim or defendant had not expired prior to the date the original complaint was filed. The plaintiff shall file an affidavit of merit supporting the joinder of the additional medical claim or defendant or a motion to extend the period of time to file an affidavit of merit pursuant to rule 10(D) of the Rules of Civil Procedure with the amendment to the complaint.

(2) If a complaint is filed under this section prior to the expiration of the one-year period of limitation applicable to medical claims under section 2305.113 of the Revised Code, then the period of time in which the parties may conduct the discovery under division (C) of this section and in which the plaintiff may join in the action any additional medical claim or defendant under division (D)(1) of this section shall be equal to the balance of any days remaining from the filing of the complaint to the expiration of that one-year period of limitation, plus one hundred eighty days from the filing of the complaint.

(E) Subject to division (F) of this section, after the expiration of the one-hundred-eighty-day period described in division (D)(2) of this section, the plaintiff shall not join any additional medical claim or defendant to the action unless the medical claim is for wrongful death, and the period of limitation for the claim under section 2125.02 of the Revised Code has not expired.

(F) This section does not modify or affect and shall not be construed as modifying or affecting any provision of the Revised Code, rule of common law, or Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure that applies to the commencement of the period of limitation for medical claims that are asserted or defendants that are joined after the expiration of the one-hundred-eighty-day period described in division (D)(2) of this section.


Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 7, §1, eff. 3/20/2019.

Related Legislative Provision: See 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 7, §3.