It's difficult to say they haven't earned it:  When it comes to public trust in media, the U.S. stands…
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Image of the Day: U.S. Public Trust in Media Lowest in the World

It's difficult to say they haven't earned it:  When it comes to public trust in media, the U.S. stands lower than any other nation:

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="691"] U.S. Claims Lowest Public Trust in Media[/caption]


May 30, 2023 • 04:59 PM

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Jester's Courtroom Legal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts
Home Jester's Courtroom High Standard of Care Expected from Lawyers as Well as Doctors
High Standard of Care Expected from Lawyers as Well as Doctors Print
Thursday, April 29 2010

A recent Virginia Supreme Court ruling upheld sanctions imposed by the state bar against a plaintiff’s lawyer who filed a medical liability lawsuit against the wrong physician. 

The lawsuit began when attorney Michael P. Weatherbee filed a liability action on behalf of his client alleging that ob-gyn Ward P. Vaughan, M.D. and others had been negligent in their treatment of Broyles.  As it turns out, Weatherbee might not have done enough homework to make sure he had the right Vaughan listed as a defendant.

According to news reports, there were 15 physicians with the same last name listed on the Virginia Board of Medicine’s website, three of whom practiced obstetrics.  Two of them were women who practiced outside of Virginia, so Weatherbee assumed the third was the co-defendant.  The problem for Weatherbee is that this Dr. Vaughan was not involved in the surgery at issue.  In fact, this Dr. Vaughan didn’t even have privileges at the hospital when the procedure was performed there. 

Eventually, Dr. Vaughan was successful in getting himself dismissed from the case, but not before he had to hire an attorney to help him.  He then filed a complaint against Weatherbee with the Virginia State Bar, which found that Weatherbee failed to independently verify Dr. Vaughan’s involvement.

Weatherbee challenged the state bar’s ruling, first before a three-judge panel of the Arlington County Circuit Court, and then on appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court, which unanimously upheld the lower court’s finding of liability for filing a non-meritorious claim.  More particularly, the court took issue with the fact that Weatherbee did not take “simple” steps to adequately research Dr. Vaughan’s involvement.  The court also noted that the lawsuit had a “deleterious impact” on Dr. Vaughan’s practice after local radio and television stations reported the lawsuit and he lost patients.

"The record demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that Weatherbee's action against Dr. Vaughan was frivolous because it had no basis in law or fact," Chief Justice Leroy R. Hassell Sr. wrote.

The underlying medical liability action ultimately was settled.

—Source:  American Medical News (AMA Publication)

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