The defendants in this case have motioned for summary judgment to dismiss the complaints made against them.
The plaintiff filed an instant complaint against the defendants on the 22nd of May, 2000. The complaint alleges that the law firm defendant’s representation of him in an underlying medical malpracticeaction constitutes legal malpractice. The plaintiff also alleges that the defendant insurance company breached its contract with him by failing to provide him with adequate representation in the underlying action.
The instant action was brought before this court after the defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint on the statute of limitation grounds was denied and after discovery proceedings were held in response to the defendant’s demands for greater specificity in the plaintiff’s bill of particulars.
The law firm defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. A conference was held and it was determined that the motion would be treated as a motion for summary judgment.
The underlying medical malpractice case that is the basis for the legal malpractice claim was started by a former patient of the plaintiff. The patient had surgery to remove tumors in the endometrial lining of her uterus. After surgery it was recommended that she follow a post-operative treatment that included chemotherapy and radiation. She was also eligible for an experimental protocol that was developed by another doctor.
The patient chose to work with the plaintiff and his alternative protocol involved a diet, a number of vitamins and mineral supplements, and six coffee enemas each day. After a period of treatment it was discovered that there were cancer cells in the spine of the patient. After this discovery the patient returned to the other hospital for radiation and chemotherapy. During this time she started having problems with her hips, back, and eyesight.
The patient sued the plaintiff alleging that he departed from good and accepted medical practice in the area of cancer treatment for endometrial cancer in that he caused her to reject the orthodox treatment of chemotherapy and radiation that would have helped her.
The defendant law firm was chosen by the defendant insurance company to represent the plaintiff in the medical malpractice case. The jury in the case found the plaintiff of this case 51% responsible for the injuries sustained by the patient.
Current Complaint and Court Decision
The plaintiff states that the negligence of the law firm is the proximate cause of the damages that he was ordered to pay. The plaintiff raises eight issues that he claims a departure from good and accepted legal practice. These issues include failing to properly investigate the case, failing to obtain discovery documents, a conflict of interest, as well as other issues.
The court has reviewed the documents and evidence that have been presented by both sides and it is determined that the motion for summary judgment to dismiss the complaint against the legal defendants should be granted. The issue against the insurance company will continue as there are triable issues of fact regarding the coverage and the conflict of interest of the insurance company.
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