Attorney with Jury

Attorneys Need Certified Legal Nurse Consultants Whether They Know it or Not!

I recently observed a plaintiff attorney cross-examining the defense medical expert in a medical malpractice trial. The plaintiff attorney obviously had not used a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant because most CLNC® consultants would have advised him that the case was not meritorious.

The son of the deceased woman was suing for failure to timely diagnose lung cancer. The decedent was a no-show for a follow-up visit and was unresponsive to a letter from the defendant doctor requesting that she set an appointment. The plaintiff attorney was trying to make the case that the doctor should have jumped through more hoops to get the woman to come in for an appointment.

The first indication that the case was going badly for the plaintiff came when the jury wouldn’t look the son in the eye while leaving the courtroom for breaks. When the case went to the jury for deliberation, they rapidly came back with a defense verdict. They obviously believed that her comparative negligence was the real cause of her death.

This experience is a good reminder that there are still attorneys who truly believe they can analyze the medical records themselves and/or rely only on their medical experts. The defense verdict in this case proves that Certified Legal Nurse Consultants are not a luxury – they are a necessity.

Attorneys need you whether they know it or not. The school of hard knocks is a tough way to learn and I hope this attorney learned a valuable lesson from this expensive loss.

I’m Just Sayin’

P.S. Comment and share cases where an attorney needed a CLNC consultant and lost because he didn’t use one.

3 thoughts on “Attorneys Need Certified Legal Nurse Consultants Whether They Know it or Not!

  1. I reviewed a case for the hospital defense. The attorney had included the deposition by the plaintiff attorney of the ED physician. In my review, I found that the ED physician had made a critical mistake in his patient assessment which led to a delay in treatment (patient died within 4 days of ED visit). In reviewing the deposition, the plaintiff attorney and his “experts” had failed to identify the critical mistake made by the ED physician. Fortunately for the ED physician’s attorney, I was reviewing for the hospital defense. Hospital defense asked if they could share my findings with the physician’s attorney. When I explained my findings to the physician’s defense attorney, his “experts” had not found the physician’s mistake. Without me and my CLNC® expertise, the plaintiff’s attorney left a lot of money on the table!!!

  2. I had an interview with a prospective attorney-client who had recently lost a malpractice case involving intra-operative fluoroscopy. He understood a C-arm had been used but did not know that hard copy radiographic images were also part of the OR record. He did not ask for them in discovery and he did not get them. He felt very badly after I told him what he could have accessed; I had to say,”Hey, it’s not your job to know all the ins-and-outs of the operating room – that’s MY job!”

  3. I sat in on a med/mal case involving 2 surgeons in a lower rectum CA bowel resection that didn’t have a good outcome. The pt had a health history that could have caused a delay in healing, and the surgery site eventually fistulated and caused an infected abdomen and a permanent colostomy. The plaintiff attorney based his strategy on poor surgical technique. However, there was no expert that could prove that the surgeons had used poor technique. No one addressed that 20% of these cases develop this complication as a result of this type of surgery. No one addressed if symptoms that might indicate an early sign of these complications developing were properly monitored. A CLNC® consultant would have addressed these issues and identified the expert witnesses needed to identify those issues in a trial. The case as presented lacked merit. The plaintiff lost the case. It would have been a different result with a CLNC® consultant on the plaintiff case.

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