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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34328
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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I have a friend, a woman, who has severe ulcerative colitis.

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I have a friend, a woman, who has severe ulcerative colitis. She saw a gastroenterologist and was successfully treated. Midway in her treatment she alleges that he regularly fondled her. She left his treatment and went to another gastroenterologist and also saw a psychiatrist. Based on her history both agree that she had been fondled. She brought a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the first gastroenterologist. Prior to depositions or even completing interrogatories the first gastroenterologist died. Malpractice will not cover voluntary acts. Question: #1. What problems will she have pursuing litigation against the estate. #2. Should she pursue litigation against the estate or should she try to settle. As this is a two-part question and please charge me according.Type your question here.
Submitted: 2 years ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 2 years ago.
My name is***** have over 16 years experience in the law. Should you like to chat on the phone I am happy to for a nominal cost. Let me know at any time during our question and answer session if you are interested I am happy to give you more details.Let me address your questions in order #1. What problems will she have pursuing litigation against the estate.The number one concern will be that the defendant, no longer alive, can not provide evidence. IN a civil case, generally speaking she would be able to depose the defendant. Often times this can be a source of evidence to help prove the case. Even if the defendant denies the charges, the plaintiff (in this case your friend) can require answers to questions that can help establish the elements of the case. With the defendant deceased? She looses access to this evidence.Another concern would be the value of the estate. If there are more creditors than assets (if this doctor had little in the way of assets and many debts) she may be able to win a judgment by may have to stand in line with other creditors to try and collect.#2. Should she pursue litigation against the estate or should she try to settle90+% of all civil cases settle at some point. Many reasons for this, including limiting the costs of litigation (it is incredibly time consuming, and therefore expensive to go through a contested trial) as well as uncertainty (you may think you have a "slam dunk" case only to find they jury does not agree with you for some, unforeseen, issue or circumstance. IF she can settle the case? That would likely be a good strategy.Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.