Justia Professional Malpractice & Ethics Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Indiana Supreme Court

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After Plaintiff experienced dizziness and difficulty walking, she was admitted into a medical clinic (Clinic) and seen by the on-duty physician (Doctor). Doctor diagnosed Plaintiff with vertigo. Two days later, Plaintiff was unable to move her right arm or leg and was later diagnosed with having suffered a stroke. Defendant subsequently filed a complaint alleging negligence by Doctor and Clinic (collectively, Defendants) for the failure to diagnose a transient stroke. After a jury trial, the trial court entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff in the amount of $1.25 million but denied Plaintiff's motion for prejudgment interest. The court thereafter denied Defendants' motion for a new trial based upon the cumulative effect of Plaintiff's counsel's alleged unprofessional conduct during the trial. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err in (1) denying Defendants' motion for a new trial, despite Plaintiff's counsel's dissatisfying behavior; and (2) denying the discretionary award of prejudgment interest. View "Wisner v. Laney" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs Michael Ashby and Randy O'Brien, inmates at the state department of correction, asserted professional malpractice complaints against attorney C. Bruce Davidson to The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Company, Davidson's professional liability carrier. Bar Plan then intervened in consolidated actions for damages filed on behalf of plaintiffs against Davidson, asserting a cross-claim that it was not obligated to indemnify Davidson for the claims of plaintiffs because Davidson had failed to notify Bar Plan of any claims against him pursuant to Bar Plan's policy. The trial court granted summary judgment to Bar Plan. The Supreme Court held that Davidson's failure to comply with Bar Plan's policy was not dispositive because plaintiffs opposed summary judgment on grounds of waiver and estoppel. The Court then reversed summary judgment, holding that genuine issues of fact remained regarding whether Bar Plan's misrepresentation of valid coverage resulted in plaintiffs sustaining actual detriment. Remanded.