Doctor sues lawyer for legal malpractice

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 11, 2004, 5:39am

Dr. Ursula Thatch and Progressive Health Care for Women filed a breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice suit against her former attorney Timothy S. Richards and the law firm of Neville, Richards, & Wuller on Nov. 10 in Madison Counties Civil Division. She is seeking more than $100,000 in damages.

Represented by William E. Miller III, Thatch claims the law firm of Neville, Richards, & Wuller, who represented her in a medical malpractice action entitled Pool v. Thatch case no 01 L 1713 in Madison County, failed to disclose a conflict of interest situation.

Thatch claims she was compelled to settle Pool v. Thatch, which resulted in the tripling of her medical malpractice insurance and that forced her to stop providing obstetrical care to patients in Madison County.

As a result of the attorney-client relationship, Thatch claims Neville, Richards & Wuller owed her a fiduciary duty to exercise the utmost of good faith and fair dealing in their relationship.

However, Thatch claims Neville, Richards & Wuller breached their fiduciary duties by failing to adequately disclose a conflict that arose as a result of a prior relationship with the consulting expert identified by the plaintiff in Pool v. Thatch, and failed to obtain a waiver of the conflict that arose due to the prior relationship.

Thatch alleges that Neville, Richards & Wuller failed to act in her best interest in matters relating to the consulting expert, failed to comply with court deadlines for the disclosure of expert witnesses, failed to disclose she was an expert witness in her own defense, failed to develop a defense of mitigation of damages, and failed to advise plaintiffs of the full consequences of the settlement recommended by the defendants in Pool v. Thatch

Thatch claims she has lost the opportunity to practice her profession, suffered a loss of business income and has suffered a loss of good will in her community and among her patients.

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