Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”
A personal injury attorney who has found himself on the other side of at least two lawsuits—as a defendant—says he does not like the feeling and says lawyers who bring frivolous lawsuits should be sanctioned more often.
During a contentious trial in Queens, New York City in 2013, Dr. Michael J. Katz testified that he took ten to twenty minutes, on average, to conduct an examination of a patient. The plaintiff’s lawyer in the case “unveiled a surreptitiously recorded video [of Dr. Katz’s examination of the plaintiff] that lasted six minutes,” leading Judge Duane Hart to call Dr. Katz a “no good liar,” a “thief” and a “spy” with “little beady eyes,” according to Forbes.
Lawyer and blogger Ed Turkewitz reported accurately on what happened between Katz and Judge Hart, but he also “teed off on insurance doctors who perform ‘quickie exams that serve only to deny benefits to the injured[,]’” according to Forbes.
Katz sued Turkewitz, claiming that his blog post falsely implied that Katz had committed perjury. Turkewitz answered, claiming he had reported on the case accurately, and a judge agreed, dismissing Katz’s lawsuit.
That was not enough for Turkewitz, however. He wanted the lawyer who represented Katz sanctioned for bringing the law suit, saying anyone who had been to law school ought to have known the suit had no merit.
Turkewitz was previously sued by a lawyer named Joseph Rakofsky after Turkewitz referenced a Washington Post article about Rakofsky’s handling of a murder case. Rakofsky sued the Post, Turkewitz “and practically anybody else who wrote about him[,]” according to Forbes. Turkewitz complained that it took too long for the court to dismiss the claims against him.
Forbes writer Daniel Fisher found that interesting. Turkewitz, after all, is a personal-injury lawyer who “opposes tort reform and celebrates the power of juries to award his clients tens of thousands or millions of dollars in damages for medical malpractice and other sympathy-inducing personal tragedies.”
But as Fisher points out, Turkewitz is consistent when it comes to what he sees as “shoddy lawyering” and “shady ethical practices[.]”
Turkewitz said plaintiff’s lawyers get prospective cases all the time that “are garbage.” The most important lesson to be learned, he said, is how to say “no.” Saying no at the beginning of a case means never having to allegedly ask “an investigator to ‘trick’ a witness into changing her story[,]” as Joseph Rakofsky was accused of doing, according to the Post.
As Turkewitz sees it, personal-injury lawyers should be the ones effecting tort reform by weeding out bad cases before they are brought. “Bad cases are brought by bad lawyers,” he said.
If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.
About the Author
Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.
Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.
A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.
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