Forrest McPadden Argues Case in CT State Supreme Court

Attorneys Matthew Forrest, Leslie Gold McPadden and Marc Ubaldi October 18, 2021 – Forrest McPadden Attorney Marc Ubaldi argued a case in front of the CT Supreme Court today.  While there was no decision at this point, we were very happy with the Justices’ response and are optimistic.

The case raises the question of whether or not a person could sue the state of CT for medical malpractice even if they had settled part of their claim with an insurance company.   In this situation, would a partial settlement of the claim foreclose the plaintiff from suing the state for the remainder of the claim?

This is important because it would allow injured parties to hold the state responsible for its agent’s share of the damages.  The suit questions if a plaintiff can settle with one of the people/groups that caused the harm and continue to have the state be involved for the remainder of the harm. The attorneys who represent the State of Connecticut interpret to interpret the statute as saying that if you settle with one person/group, you are also settling with the state. More specifically, the state claims that the law says that if anybody pays for a portion of your losses, then the state is immune from being held responsible for any other remaining damages.

Why does this matter?

If an insurance company pays a settlement or your insurance company pays your doctor’s bills, then the present interpretation of the law would mean that the state is foreclosed from having to pay anything additional. This could mean that a plaintiff, seeking to recover their full damages, would have to refuse any reimbursement from a third party (like an insurance company, for example) that might be available for interim relief while the lawsuit against the state proceeds.  This all-or-nothing approach could obviously put a plaintiff in significant financial distress if they had to cover their medical bills arising from the malpractice claim on their own while the case was fully resolved.