Thursday, May 10, 2007

Plaintiff's attorney waited 5 months and 3 weeks to serve his doubtfully meritorious malpractice suit on the defendant physician. The Douglas County Sheriff apparently served the wrong defendant or misidentified him. According to 25-217, the bad service lead to automatic dismissal of the case, and in this instance the statute of limitations ran. Plaintiff now is blaming the Sheriff for the improper service. Journal Plaintiff claimed the late service occurred as part of his trial strategy in (scrambling) to obtain a favorable expert's opinion before serving the doctor.In Nebraska, an attorney has six months to have the defendant served with papers after filing a lawsuit. Blakeman asked that the physician be served in January 2006, just days before the six-month time limit expired.Blakeman said he received noticed that the papers were served.“At that point, I’m figuring my client is protected,” Blakeman said.But the physician claimed in a court hearing that he was never served. Records showed that the physician was out of his office on the day the server claimed to have given him the papers, and Judge Patricia Lamberty ruled in his favor.By then, it was too late for Blakeman to have the lawsuit served again.Blakeman filed the lawsuit against Douglas County last week.The physician may have to testify in the case against the county.“He has nothing to lose financially,” Blakeman said, “but he might want to defend his practice.”

No comments: