Mavern Pennsylvania based Nancy Raynor was representing the defense in Sutch v. Roxborough Memorial Hospital when the judge imposed a $1,000,000 fine on her for the actions of her expert witness.
The underlying malpractice case was brought by the daughter of deceased patient Rosalind Wilson, who had presented at Roxborough Memorial for a routine chest CT scan. It was alleged that a nodule on the patients lung was missed during the interpretation of the scan which would have caught her lung cancer earlier and increased her odds of survival. When the cancer was discovered twenty months later when it was stage four.
The judge ordered everyone involved in the trial to not reference the plaintiff’s smoking history, as he saw it as irrelevant to the case. Raynor has stated she instructed her expert witness to avoid the topic but he mentioned it in open court anyway. The defense was sanctioned and they have stated their malpractice insurer will not cover the fine.
Raynor had already been sanctioned $44,693.25 for an earlier action from the original trial where she wrote a letter to the employer of the opposing expert witness.
Standard legal malpractice policies will not cover fines and penalties, but may cover legal costs related to the action. Contact a legal malpractice expert to discuss potential expanded coverage for fines, penalties and regulatory actions.