Liggon-Redding v. Estate of Sugarman, No. 08-4336 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, acting pro se, sued an attorney, claiming that her medical malpractice case had been dismissed because the attorney failed to retain an expert as required by state law. Plaintiff failed to file a certificate of merit within 60 days, as required by state law in professional malpractice cases. Given extensions, plaintiff filed various documents reflecting that she did not understand the rule. The district court dismissed. The Third Circuit remanded. The state rule does not conflict with any federal rule and is substantive law that must be applied by a federal court in a diversity case, but plaintiff complied with the rule when she indicated that expert testimony of an appropriate licensed professional was unnecessary for the prosecution of her complaint (PA.R.CIV.P. 1042.3(a)(3)). The district court lacked discretion to reject the filing.