Ky. Supreme Court rejects law requiring panel to review medical malpractice cases

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The Kentucky Supreme Court has struck down a law requiring a panel of doctors to review medical malpractice cases before they go to court.

The court ruled the law violates the state's Constitution because it delays access to the courts. Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton wrote the opinion, with justices Lisabeth Hughes, Laurance VanMeter and Daniel Venters agreeing with it. Justices Samuel Wright, Michelle Keller and Bill Cunningham agreed with the result of the ruling, but for different reasons.

The law gives a panel of doctors nine months to review medical malpractice lawsuits and issue an opinion about whether they are frivolous. That opinion could then be used as evidence during a trial.

But section 14 of the state Constitution says every person has access to the courts without delay.

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