Certificates of Merit in Texas Prepared by Experts
To assert a professional negligence claim in Texas (against an architect, professional engineer, registered landscape architect, or registered professional land surveyor), the person filing suit must file what is called “a certificate of merit” prepared by an outside expert.
Section 150.002(a) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code outlines the requirements for the certificate of merit and states that the certificate of merit must be in the form of an affidavit and be provided by a “third-party licensed architect, licensed or registered professional engineer, registered landscape architect, or registered professional land surveyor who: (1) is competent to testify; (2) holds the same professional license or registration as the defendant; and (3) practices in the area of practice of the defendant and offers testimony based on the person’s knowledge, skill, experience, education, training, and practice.” The certificate of merit must be filed contemporaneously with the original petition. If the claimant fails to comply with providing a certificate of merit, the defendant may file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
If you are a professional being sued for negligence and/or if you are seeking to sue a professional for negligence, it is vital to understand and comply with the requirements of Section 150.002 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.