A Colorado jury has awarded a woman who claimed her Colorado medical malpractice lawyer failed to file her medical malpractice case before the statute of limitations expired $1.2 million in damages against her former lawyer. The woman further claimed that her lawyer attempted to cover up his failure to timely file her Colorado medical malpractice lawsuit.
The woman had hired the Colorado Springs lawyer to file a medical malpractice lawsuit on her behalf against a radiologist who allegedly failed to diagnose a benign brain tumor. She claimed that had the radiologist timely and appropriately made the proper diagnosis, she would have undergone a low risk procedure to address her condition that has a historical success rate in excess of 95%. Instead, due to the alleged medical negligence of the radiologist, she was required to undergo three higher risk brain surgeries that resulted in her suffering short term memory loss, partial blindness, and suffering the loss of the ability to work.
The plaintiff’s legal malpractice lawyer alleged that the defendant Colorado medical malpractice lawyer repeatedly “lied” to his client in order to cover up his failure to timely file the underlying medical malpractice lawsuit, relying on his client’s short-term memory to blame her: “They basically just didn’t calendar this thing properly and forgot about it. And then they decided, ‘Well, we’ll just rely on the fact that Della has memory problems.'”
The plaintiff alleged that her former medical malpractice attorney falsely claimed that he had terminated his representation of her in 2010, prior to the statute of limitations expiring in December 2011. However, the attorney’s file reportedly had been updated nearly a year after he claimed to have terminated his representation.
The defendant lawyer reportedly claimed that he “never” writes letters to clients confirming the termination of his representation and that his paralegal was present when he advised the plaintiff that he was terminating the representation, but the paralegal reportedly testified during the trial that “In the nine years I worked with him, he disengaged plenty of clients, and he always immediately wrote a full-blown letter, including any upcoming statute of limitations there may be” and the paralegal denied being present during a meeting when termination of representation was discussed.
The six-day legal malpractice trial was the second legal malpractice trial between the parties. In 2014, the plaintiff had won her legal malpractice lawsuit against her former Colorado medical malpractice lawyer but that verdict was overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court, which held that the plaintiff had failed to prove that she would have been able to collect a judgment against the radiologist. The radiologist subsequently testified in a deposition that he had a $1 million medical malpractice insurance policy in effect at the time of the alleged medical negligence.
The defendant lawyer reportedly had in effect at the time he missed filing the underlying medical malpractice lawsuit before the statute of limitations expired a legal malpractice insurance policy in the amount of $100,000.
If you or a loved one were injured (or worse) as a result of the medical negligence in Colorado or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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