Thursday, October 16, 2008
A physician who served as chair of the emergency department at a hospital began to suffer from a delilitating spinal condition. He and his fellow doctors negotiated a new employment contract after meeting with a lawyer regarding the new contract. The new contract allowed the physician to purchase long-term disability insurance, which he did. When the insurer limited his benefits, he sued the lawyer and his firm for malpractice. Summary judgment was granted against the physician.
On appeal, the New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department reversed, concluding that the question whether the lawyer had an attorney-client relationship with the individual doctors was "an unresolved question of fact" and that causation could not be resolved by summary judgment. (Mike Frisch)