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Law firm sued over med-mal fees prevails on appeal

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An Indianapolis law firm was properly granted summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by a former client in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

Rogelio Garcia sued the firm claiming breach of contract and illegal fee collections in Rogelio Garcia v. Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C., 49A02-1401-PL-7. Garcia sued after his then-wife, Renee, gave birth to a child in May 2001 who died less than a year later while receiving medical care. The couple retained GGHP to sue their son’s doctor.

The case was settled in 2008 with the Garcias receiving $250,000 from the doctor – the maximum allowed by statute – and the Patient’s Compensation Fund paying the Garcia’s the maximum $1 million. The fund paid $900,000 up front and $100,000 in an annuity. The law firm took $62,333 of the doctor’s payment – one-third of the value of the current settlement as allowed by statute.

GGHP also took 15 percent of the fund settlement as law allows, plus another $124,668 it determined it was entitled to receive, collecting fees of $337,001 on a total present value recovery of $1,137,001.

“This amount was authorized under the contract. The manner in which GGHP accounted for its fee adjustment does not compel a conclusion that GGHP took a share of the Fund settlement above the fifteen percent permitted by statute,” Senior Judge Betty Barteau wrote for the panel, citing  In re Stephens, 867 N.E.2d 148, 155-156 (Ind. 2007).



 

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  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

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  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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