Legal Background

The backbone of a case is the testimony of the parties and their witnesses, but sometimes the content of the testimony can be surprising. In this case, Dr. R’s testimony was in direct contrast to Mr. W’s version of what happened. People sometimes are mistaken or untruthful. It is the duty of the jury to listen to the testimony, view the evidence, and come to the ultimate determination about truthfulness and liability.

Protecting Yourself

Dr. R’s attention to detail and careful manner clearly protected him.  Providing both written and verbal (in case the patient could not read) instructions, and noting this in the file was very prudent, as was calling the patient several times to inform him about his test results. The fact that the patient did not call back cannot be blamed on the physician. Dr. R acted appropriately. While his carefulness could not prevent the lawsuit, his diligence ensured that he would be exonerated.

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Ms. Latner, a former criminal defense attorney, is a freelance medical writer in Port Washington, N.Y.