Kentucky Supreme Court Strikes Down 2017 Medical Review Panel Statute

In a unanimous ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court that was rendered on November 15, 2018, the Kentucky Medical Review Panel Act (KRS 216C) has been declared void in its entirety. The Court determined that the Act “delays access to the courts,” thereby violating Section 14 of the Kentucky Constitution. 

We expect that plaintiffs with pending cases before the medical review panel will soon be seeking to have those actions brought back under the jurisdiction of the circuit courts and move forward with the usual discovery process.  This should be done by either filing a motion to lift the stay if there was already a parallel circuit court action filed, or alternatively, filing an initiating complaint with the circuit court.  However, we know of numerous plaintiffs’ attorneys who were serving discovery in the stayed circuit court case within hours of the Kentucky Supreme Court ruling, regardless of the pending stays. 

The Kentucky Supreme Court did not address what happens with cases that have now missed the statute of limitations as a result of relying upon the Act, or how the medical review panels will be paid for their time and expenses now that the Act is void.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like a copy of the opinion.