Louisiana Medical Malpractice for State Services Act – Formation of the Medical Review Panel

The state medical review panel shall consist of three licensed Louisiana healthcare providers and an attorney chairman appointed by the parties, or through the Supreme Court’s striking process if an agreement can not be made. 40:1299.39.1(C). However, if an attorney or representative for the defendant state healthcare provider has not made an appearance within 45 days of the receipt of notification of payment of the filing fee to the healthcare provider by the commissioner of administration, then the claimant may appoint an attorney chairman.

Notice of the appointment of an attorney-chairman of the medical review panel shall be sent to the commissioner of administration by the parties within one year from the date the claim is filed. If the appointment is not timely made, the commissioner will send notice of the dismissal of the claim to the parties by certified or registered mail. Prescription will remain suspended for ninety days after the claim has been dismissed. 40:1299.39.1(A)(2)(c).

The claimant must timely select one healthcare provider to serve on the panel and the defendant healthcare providers then timely selects one healthcare provider to serve on the panel. The two selected panel members select the third panel member. If a timely selection of a panel member is not made, the attorney chairman shall select the panel member. Notification of the formation of the panel is sent by the attorney chairman to the commissioner. The parties are supposed to make a full and adequate presentation of related facts and authorities within 90 days following selection of the panel. 40:1299.39.1(C)(2). The evidence submitted may consist of medical charts, x-rays, lab tests, excerpts of treatises, depositions of witnesses and parties, interrogatories, affidavits and reports of medical experts, and any other form of evidence allowable by the state medical review panel. 40:1299.39.1(D)(2).

Physicians selected to the panel must be engaged in the active practice of medicine or in the teaching profession. If there is only one defendant state healthcare provider, then the panel members must be from the same class or specialty as the defendant. If the only defendant is a hospital, then the panel members must be physicians from the same specialty as the hospital department at issue. If any one of the defendant state healthcare providers is a physician, then all panel members must be physicians. If none of the defendants are physicians or hospitals, but one defendant is a registered nurse, then the panel members must be registered nurses. If none of the defendants are physicians or registered nurses, then the panel members shall be from the same class or specialty as the defendant healthcare providers. 40:1299.39.1(C)(3)(f)(v).