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LITIGATION DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR - Mid-Size Firm  ALM's Daily Report  

What to Do When Malpractice Allegations Become Defamation

Healthcare Risk Management

In an article published by Healthcare Risk Management on November 20, 2020, Partner Carol Michel is quoted discussing when malpractice allegations become defamation and how to handle these claims. 

While some medical malpractice allegations can get ugly, it is often unclear at what point these claims can amount to defamation. TV star Terry Dubrow, MD, filed a defamation lawsuit after a patient sued him for $10 million, alleging a former patient's lawyer made defaming comments about him to the media. 

"Providing defamation in such a case can be difficult," Michel says. "Courts generally give broad leeway regarding statements connected to a legal filing. It can be less clear when these are statements made before the initiation of legal action or they are made outside the broad scope of the litigation itself."

Michel further explains why court statements are difficult to challenge. 

"If the statements are made publicly and sufficiently outside what the court sees as being part and parcel of the malpractice case, the court could see the defamatory statements as actionable," Michel explains. "Trying to find that line is difficult. I would say that if these types of statements are not something necessary for the litigation, then an attorney should be hesitant about making statements like that."

For the full article, click here

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