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Doctor Files Malpractice Suit Against Attorneys

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, May 2, 2013

"I took the blame for the case because I was the idiot who was willing to play ball and signed off on the consent," he says. "Another lesson—when you sign off on a consent and your attorney tells you, 'This is going to be $100,000,' make sure he puts that down in writing. Do not believe what your attorney tells you unless he puts it in writing. I would never do that again."

"It's a case of man bites dog," Forman calls it. "It's imperative to be proactive in this process. You can't be passive."

"I was told I would be responsible for 15 to 20% of the payout. Instead I paid out 81%, so I paid for all of the defendants," he says. "This is the essence of the case. My own attorneys were representing the interests of the insurance company [and] hospital, before defending my interests."

In his suit against his malpractice attorney, Forman charges that Martin Clearwater & Bell used "undue influence to pressure" him into agreeing to a settlement that effectively benefited the hospital where he worked, Mercy Hospital, and an insurer, Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Company. The firm represented the insurers and hospital in the case as well.

Two Martin Clearwater & Bell lawyers who were cited by Forman have denied the physician's claims, according to court papers filed by attorney Robert Frisenda of White Plains, NY. The lawyers deny "each and every allegation," but admitted that "defendant Martin Clearwater & Bell agreed to and did provide to plaintiff appropriate legal counsel in connection with the defense of the malpractice action."

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