Orthopedist Sues Malpractice Insurer For Failing To Settle Case Filed By Amputee

On October 25, 2018, an appellate court held that an orthopedic surgeon, hit with an $8,600,000 jury verdict, could proceed to a jury trial to determine whether his malpractice insurer acted in bad faith in refusing to settle. The 36 year old male patient who sued the orthopedist had complications following an ankle fracture that required multiple surgeries leading to an above knee amputation. During the litigation and trial the orthopedist's insurer, Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company (MLMIC), had steadfastly refused to offer any amount in response to the patient's settlement demand of both the $1.3 million primary policy and an excess policy of $1,000,000. There were questions of fact and a classic battle of the experts which only a jury could resolve. It took the jury about one hour for the jury to decide that the orthopedist caused a 40 year old man to lose his leg before deciding how much to award for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses.

This bad faith action against MLMIC will be decided by a jury because during jury deliberations, the jury sent a note indicating that they had found liability against the orthopedist and were considering how much to award the patient for future medical expenses. There was still time to settle before the jury were to reach a verdict. The orthopedist finally consented to settle but MLMIC still failed to offer the primary policy of $1,300,000 which would then clear the way for the $1,000,000 excess policy to be offered. Less than half an hour later the jury reached its verdict and still yet MLMIC failed to offer a dime. The orthopedist now has to consider bankruptcy proceedings or paying $6,300,000 out of his personal assets to satisfy the judgment. A jury will decide whether MLMIC had an opportunity to settle and whether it acted in bad faith in failing to settle. If the orthopedist wins his claim of bad faith refusal to settle, MLMIC will have to pay the entire $8,600,000 verdict plus 9% interest from the date of the verdict over 4 years ago (which was upheld on appeal). Healthcare Professionals Ins. Co. v. Parentis & MLMIC, 2018 N.Y. Slip Op. 07224

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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