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Medical Malpractice Screening Panel Victory Results in Voluntary Dismissal of Case
Medical Malpractice Screening Panel Victory Results in Voluntary Dismissal of Case

After a 3-to-0 Panel victory, Michael Pignatelli and Adam Pignatelli convinced the plaintiffs and their attorney to drop a lawsuit against a New Hampshire physician and hospital.

Under New Hampshire law, Panels consists of a retired Judge, physician in the same specialty as the defendant, and an attorney who typically does plaintiff work. The three members consider whether or not a breach in the standard of care occurred, and whether or not causation of damages resulted from any breach. The Panel is conducted in private and without a jury. Whatever the result, either side can continue on to a full Jury Trial. A unanimous ruling for either side, however, is admissible at a Jury Trial.

In the past several years, Panels have been employed selectively to attempt to gain a unanimous ruling that can be used to try to convince the plaintiff to drop a case.

In this case, the plaintiff claimed a failure of informed consent ahead of a surgery that she claimed should not have been performed and was performed below the standard of care. Both sides submitted expert opinions and the physician testified strongly in her defense. The Panel found 3-to-0 on both the standard of care and causation questions.

Michael Pignatelli can be reached at map@rathlaw.com or (603) 889-9952, and Adam Pignatelli can be reached at abp@rathlaw.com or at (603) 226-2600.

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