We recently were contacted by a physician who was named in a lawsuit along with perhaps 15 other doctors, hospitals, and clinics. This lawsuit is going to take years to come to an end and will cost everyone tens of thousands of dollars whether there is any merit to the claim or not. The physician himself did, in fact, treat the patient and he was being represented by the attorneys for the hospital. But, this doctor had, about 10 months after the treatment at issue in the lawsuit, started his own corporation which he was using to do outside consulting work. The lawyers for the plaintiff had found this corporation and had named it as one of the many defendants. But, since the corporation was not in existence at the time of the events, the insurance company for this little corporation correctly refused to defend the corporation as the insurance coverage did not start until long after the treatment had been rendered. But, still there was the lawsuit that had to be dealt with, and the doctor realized that he was going to have to retain and pay for attorneys to defend his corporation and this was going to take years of litigation, with court conferences, depositions, motions and other necessary legal work that was going to be enormously expensive.
The doctor came to us to see if we could somehow get his corporation out of the lawsuit without the burden of paying massive legal fees over the next several years. The first thing we noticed was that one of our lawyers had tried cases in the past with two members of the firm representing the plaintiff. This was very fortunate as it gave us the ability to talk to people with authority and have our issue get in front of the people who could make a decision. Secondly, we obtained copies of the corporate documents and wrote a detailed letter to the lawyer who was handling the case, very clearly set forth our position that this corporation was not properly in the case. After that, several phone calls and emails when unanswered and that prompted a call from our attorney directly to the managing partner at the firm representing the plaintiff. Because of the history our attorney had with the firm, our issue was addressed and within ten days a Stipulation of Discontinuance was issued by the plaintiff’s attorney and that was filed with the court ending the litigation against our client’s corporation. The entire matter took, at most, three hours worth of time. If the case had gone on in the usual course of business the corporation would have finally been dismissed from the case, but at the cost of many thousands of dollars worth of time, all of which would have been paid for by the doctor personally.
This was the right result done very quickly at a minimum of expense. A perfect result for everyone.