TEX CP. CODE ANN. § 74.351 : Texas Statutes - Section 74.351: EXPERT REPORT

(a) In a health care liability claim, a claimant shall, not later than the 120th day after the date the original petition was filed, serve on each party or the party's attorney one or more expert reports, with a curriculum vitae of each expert listed in the report for each physician or health care provider against whom a liability claim is asserted. The date for serving the report may be extended by written agreement of the affected parties. Each defendant physician or health care provider whose conduct is implicated in a report must file and serve any objection to the sufficiency of the report not later than the 21st day after the date it was served, failing which all objections are waived.

(b) If, as to a defendant physician or health care provider, an expert report has not been served within the period specified by Subsection (a), the court, on the motion of the affected physician or health care provider, shall, subject to Subsection (c), enter an order that:

(1) awards to the affected physician or health care provider reasonable attorney's fees and costs of court incurred by the physician or health care provider; and

(2) dismisses the claim with respect to the physician or health care provider, with prejudice to the refiling of the claim.

(c) If an expert report has not been served within the period specified by Subsection (a) because elements of the report are found deficient, the court may grant one 30-day extension to the claimant in order to cure the deficiency. If the claimant does not receive notice of the court's ruling granting the extension until after the 120-day deadline has passed, then the 30-day extension shall run from the date the plaintiff first received the notice.

[Subsections (d)-(h) reserved]

(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a claimant may satisfy any requirement of this section for serving an expert report by serving reports of separate experts regarding different physicians or health care providers or regarding different issues arising from the conduct of a physician or health care provider, such as issues of liability and causation. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that a single expert must address all liability and causation issues with respect to all physicians or health care providers or with respect to both liability and causation issues for a physician or health care provider.

(j) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the serving of an expert report regarding any issue other than an issue relating to liability or causation.

(k) Subject to Subsection (t), an expert report served under this section:

(1) is not admissible in evidence by any party;

(2) shall not be used in a deposition, trial, or other proceeding; and

(3) shall not be referred to by any party during the course of the action for any purpose.

(l) A court shall grant a motion challenging the adequacy of an expert report only if it appears to the court, after hearing, that the report does not represent an objective good faith effort to comply with the definition of an expert report in Subsection (r)(6).

[Subsections (m)-(q) reserved]

(r) In this section:

(1) "Affected parties" means the claimant and the physician or health care provider who are directly affected by an act or agreement required or permitted by this section and does not include other parties to an action who are not directly affected by that particular act or agreement.

(2) "Claim" means a health care liability claim.

[(3) reserved]

(4) "Defendant" means a physician or health care provider against whom a health care liability claim is asserted. The term includes a third-party defendant, cross-defendant, or counterdefendant.

(5) "Expert" means:

(A) with respect to a person giving opinion testimony regarding whether a physician departed from accepted standards of medical care, an expert qualified to testify under the requirements of Section 74.401;

(B) with respect to a person giving opinion testimony regarding whether a health care provider departed from accepted standards of health care, an expert qualified to testify under the requirements of Section 74.402;

(C) with respect to a person giving opinion testimony about the causal relationship between the injury, harm, or damages claimed and the alleged departure from the applicable standard of care in any health care liability claim, a physician who is otherwise qualified to render opinions on such causal relationship under the Texas Rules of Evidence;

(D) with respect to a person giving opinion testimony about the causal relationship between the injury, harm, or damages claimed and the alleged departure from the applicable standard of care for a dentist, a dentist or physician who is otherwise qualified to render opinions on such causal relationship under the Texas Rules of Evidence; or

(E) with respect to a person giving opinion testimony about the causal relationship between the injury, harm, or damages claimed and the alleged departure from the applicable standard of care for a podiatrist, a podiatrist or physician who is otherwise qualified to render opinions on such causal relationship under the Texas Rules of Evidence.

(6) "Expert report" means a written report by an expert that provides a fair summary of the expert's opinions as of the date of the report regarding applicable standards of care, the manner in which the care rendered by the physician or health care provider failed to meet the standards, and the causal relationship between that failure and the injury, harm, or damages claimed.

(s) Until a claimant has served the expert report and curriculum vitae as required by Subsection (a), all discovery in a health care liability claim is stayed except for the acquisition by the claimant of information, including medical or hospital records or other documents or tangible things, related to the patient's health care through:

(1) written discovery as defined in Rule 192.7, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure;

(2) depositions on written questions under Rule 200, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure; and

(3) discovery from nonparties under Rule 205, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(t) If an expert report is used by the claimant in the course of the action for any purpose other than to meet the service requirement of Subsection (a), the restrictions imposed by Subsection (k) on use of the expert report by any party are waived.

(u) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, after a claim is filed all claimants, collectively, may take not more than two depositions before the expert report is served as required by Subsection (a).


Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. <a target="new" href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/79R/billtext/html/HB02645F.HTM">635</a>, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.