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Legal Wisdom

The latest updates from Legally Mine

Legally Mine Special Report –

The following is just an example of the craziness that exists in our world today.  It’s a portion of the “Special Medical Report on Lawsuits” that is distributed by Legally Mine – your comments are welcome!

Also if you have any similar experiences you know of please share, it is good that we all are aware!

Judgment Exceeds Malpractice Insurance
$2.1 Million Judgment Causes Dr. Velis to Lose Everything, Even Retirement Savings
Dr. Velis was a sixty-three year old orthopedic surgeon in New Jersey. He and his wife (office
manager) worked together in a professional corporation under his name. They had three children, two
of whom were attending college at the time. The doctor and his wife had substantial assets invested
and accrued in a retirement plan that had been set up within the professional corporation. They were
in the process of obtaining a loan to buy the professional building that housed their practice when a
malpractice suit was filed against Dr. Velis. The loan was upset (the bank withdrew its commitment)
when a judgment in the malpractice case was rendered against the doctor in an amount of 3.7 million
dollars. Although the judgment was later reduced to 2.1 million dollars, it still exceeded (by 1.1
million dollars) the doctor’s malpractice insurance policy limit of 1 million dollars. To save the
purchase of the building and the almost eighty thousand dollars they had personally invested, the
doctor and his wife borrowed from their retirement fund. They also filed a bankruptcy and sought to
exclude their retirement funds (KEOUGH and IRA plans) from the reach of the judgment creditor.
However, the bankruptcy court held that the doctor’s retirement funds were not excluded and thus
were subject to the malpractice judgment. (Dr. Velis, 109 B.R. 64 (1989))
“45% of medical malpractice awards in
1998-1999 were $1 million or more.”
Jury Verdict Research
$3 Million Judgment Forces Dr. Kimbell into Bankruptcy
Dr. Fariss Kimbell, a neurosurgeon in Florida, was forced into bankruptcy because of a medical
malpractice case. The jury returned “a verdict of three million dollars, well in excess of Dr. Kimbell’s
$250,000 policy.” (Id. at p.340 of 58 F.2d 340.) (Camp v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance
Company, 127 B.R. 879 (1991))
$10 Million Judgment Causes Dr. Pouliot to Lose Everything
Dr. Reynald Pouliot, a Florida doctor specializing in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology, lost
everything when a jury granted a ten million-dollar judgment against him for malpractice. The ten
million-dollar judgment far exceeded his malpractice insurance policy. (In re: Pouliot, 196 B.R. 641
(1996))

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