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FMG Law Blog Line

Hospital Found Liable After Lawyers Intimidate Expert

Posted on: September 17th, 2012

By: Scott Rees

A default judgment was recently entered against a local hospital, based on the actions of its attorneys.  In entering the default judgment, the judge determined that the local hospital’s attorneys intimidated the plaintiff’s expert physician witness to the point he refused to continue on as plaintiff’s expert.  According to the judge’s order, after learning that the plaintiff’s expert was a Northside Hospital employee, the local hospital’s attorneys contacted the expert’s superior to notify her that the expert would be testifying in support of plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims against the local hospital.  The judge rejected the local hospital’s argument that the call to Northside Hospital was made only as a professional courtesy.  The order went on to provide that the expert’s boss then telephoned the expert and threatened his job if he testified for the plaintiff.  The expert then refused to continue as plaintiff’s expert, because he was fearful of losing his job and being blackballed in the medical community.  The judge found that the intimidation destroyed plaintiff’s case, because it would be too difficult to find a replacement witness, and therefore entered the default judgment.  This lawsuit is ongoing, and we will provide an update as additional information becomes known.

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