Medical malpractice lawsuits are often complex matters requiring the guidance and expertise of an experienced law firm. At the Doctor Lawyer Firm, we stay committed to helping our clients and potential clients understand the challenging contours of medical negligence and all that it entails. One such instance in Florida recently led to a Supreme Court ruling.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to restore damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Although the jury may agree that you are injured and entitled to compensation, getting awarded the actual compensation may be problematic, especially if the party you are suing does not have the money to pay you.
This is precisely what happened in a recent lawsuit before Florida’s Supreme Court. Here, the jury determined that the injured party was entitled to a certain amount of damages, but the defendant’s insurance policy couldn’t cover it. When the injured party proceeded to sue medical providers involved in their injury, the defendants stepped in to try and get in on any additional financial winnings. A complex situation indeed. So, what happened?
The driver of a scooter, Benjamin Hintz, collided with a vehicle driven by Emily Boozer. The accident took place in the city of Melbourne, resulting in Hintz getting medical treatment for a head injury. The vehicle Emily Boozer was driving wasn’t hers — it was her father’s. However, the vehicle was insured by Allstate. After Hintz sued the Boozer family, he was awarded by a jury over $11 million. The amount was initially higher, but due to negligence on Hintz’s part, it was reduced to $11 million.
Allstate’s policy limit was $1.1 million, which it paid. So there’s still $9.9 million in the wind that Hintz wanted to make sure he received. In an attempt to achieve this, Hintz sued the medical practitioners who treated him following the accident. At this point, the Boozers and Allstate intervened, claiming that they were entitled to any winnings from the medical providers. What this translates to is that the Boozers and Allstate claim Hintz’s injuries were the result of the medical care he received, not much the accident.
At first, the claim was dismissed by the trial court. But then, an intermediate appellate court stepped in and reversed the trial court’s ruling, holding that a lawsuit could still be brought against the medical providers. But the Florida Supreme Court ruled otherwise, stating that the Boozers and Allstate are not entitled to any such winnings from the medical practitioners.
At a practical level, Hintz can now focus his attention of recovering that remaining $9.9 million without having to worry about the Boozers and Allstate trying to collect on damages.
What Does This Mean for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?
In this instance, it’s great news that the claim wasn’t permitted to move forward. In a sense, it cheapens the true medical malpractice lawsuits and detracts from their legitimacy. Here, both the plaintiff and defendant were attempting to use medical malpractice (and one that wasn’t even there to begin with) to line their pockets and recover “losses.” In Hintz’s case, he wanted to make up for the $9.9 million that he felt was still owed to him, while the Boozers and Allstate wanted to make up for the $1.1 million that they were now out.
In both instances, medical malpractice had no place, nor should it have. Medical negligence victims deserve to have their voices heard. If just anyone can come along and use it for their own financial gain, the voices of those who are truly injured by malpractice will gradually be silenced, and it will become harder for a medical malpractice attorney to fight for their clients.
Are you the Victim of Medical Malpractice?
When you enlist the services of the Doctor Lawyer Firm, you get experienced attorneys who have extensive backgrounds in both the medical and legal fields. This is essential when taking on the medical industry. So contact our attorneys today to start a conversation and get the legal representation you deserve.
Meet Our Attorneys
Matthew Sowell: With more than 30 years of experience practicing law, Matt has secured millions of dollars for his clients. His entire career has centered on helping medical malpractice victims, so you can trust that you’re working with an attorney who knows how to navigate the legal system.
Fadi Chakour: Fadi is a medical doctor who stopped practicing medicine and started practicing law. After treating patients of medical negligence and seeing first-hand the harm it causes, Fadi decided to offer his expertise to the legal profession. As such, he is a master of medical malpractice litigation.
Combined, the team of Sowell and Chakour brings extensive knowledge, experience, and insight to the table, ensuring that you’re getting expert legal counsel in all matters concerning medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury because of medical negligence, we invite you to call the Doctor Lawyer Firm right away at 1-833-MedMals. You may also fill out our online contact form to get started.
The information in this blog post is for reference only and not legal advice. As such, you should not decide whether to contact a lawyer based on the information in this blog post. Moreover, there is no lawyer-client relationship resulting from this blog post, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you need legal counsel, please consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.