Visitor Question

Suing a former doctor who no longer has malpractice insurance?

Submitted By: Sandra (Chicago, IL)

My Dad had a prostate seed implant in 2006, with no problems at all afterwards. Then in 2012, his urologist told him he needed a TURP done (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate). The doctor made a surgical error during the procedure, which caused excessive bleeding through the catheter after a day.

Then the doctor decided to place a sphincter device in because my Dad could no longer control urine, it just continued to flow out. He never was able to use the device but had multiple problems after it was placed in him (and several surgeries). It was taken out, then more surgeries were preformed to correct problems caused by this device.

The doctor, who was head of the urology board, was asked to leave right after my Dad’s surgery. We acquired all my Dad’s medical records and asked an expert to review them to see if we had a malpractice case. We were told that it was an obvious notation of gross negligence on the doctor’s part.

But after the case was filed and in court it was indicated that the doctor no longer had malpractice insurance. Could the hospital be liable also for allowing an incompetent physician to perform procedures in their hospital? Can I still file a case even if the doctor left and doesn’t have malpractice insurance? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Sandra,

Hospitals have a legal duty of care to doing everything within reason to assure the doctors who are permitted to practice on their premises are competent. To know whether or not you have the basis of a medical malpractice claim will require evidence.

That evidence will have to show the hospital knew, or should have known the doctor was incompetent, or that the doctor had prior complaints, lawsuits, or other claims against him or her for malpractice.

Medical malpractice cases should never be handled “Pro Se.” In non-legal terms, “pro se” means the person filing the lawsuit and intending to pursue the case is proceeding without an attorney. Malpractice cases are very complex. They are also very expensive to pursue. These cases should only be handled by attorneys with substantial experience.

Gather copies of all the medical records. Make appointments with several med mal attorneys in your area. They should not charge for an initial office consultation. From the facts you present, you should not have any trouble finding several attorneys to accept your case.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: March 21, 2015

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