A Putnam County, West Virginia attorney and his two former law partners are being sued for legal malpractice for the third time in a year for their alleged wrongful handling of medical malpractice claims against the same doctor. In this most recent case filed on April 13, 2012, the three plaintiffs allege that their former attorneys failed to timely file their medical malpractice claims against former osteopathic physician, John King.
The former physician had been sued for medical malpractice in over 100 cases in 2006 for acts of alleged medical malpractice that occurred between November 2002 and June 2003 while the physician practiced at Putnam General Hospital (for more information regarding the former Dr. King and the medical malpractice claims against him, see our blog posting on February 20, 2012).
The most recent legal malpractice claim alleges that the holders of a durable medical power of attorney for the medical malpractice claimant had contacted the lawyers in October 2003 regarding the alleged medical malpractice that occurred earlier in 2003. The lawyers did not file the medical malpractice lawsuit until October 25, 2006, which was after the two-year West Virginia statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases had expired. Their medical malpractice case was dismissed a little over one year later, for failing to file the medical malpractice claim within the two-year statute of limitations. A motion to reconsider the dismissal was denied on March 5, 2010.
The other two legal malpractice lawsuits filed against the attorneys were filed in April and December 2011, respectively. As with the most recent legal malpractice claim, the other two legal malpractice cases allege that their lawyers failed to timely file their medical malpractice lawsuits against the osteopathic physician. Their medical malpractice cases were also filed in October 2006 and were dismissed in November 2007 because they were not filed by the deadline. Both of these cases also had motions to reconsider the dismissals filed which were denied by the court in March 2010.
The lawyers’ law firm was dissolved in 2005, according to records. One of the lawyers has since moved to Florida. The three legal malpractice lawsuits on behalf of the plaintiffs are being handled by the same attorney.
The three legal malpractice cases based on their lawyers’ alleged failures to handle their three medical malpractice claims timely and appropriately must be devastating for the medical malpractice claimants — it appears that they have been victimized twice: once by their trusted physician and then a second time by their trusted lawyers.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries and losses as a result of possible medical malpractice in West Virginia or in another state in the United States, it is important that you promptly and timely obtain the legal advice of a competent medical malpractice attorney regarding your rights concerning your possible medical malpractice claim.
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