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Surgeon Sues For Legal Fees

Tue, 07/06/2010 - 5:44am

A physician’s assistant who sued, alleging a Redding, PA surgeon angrily threw a drill at him in surgery, dropped his lawsuit after the doctor countersued, alleging slander. Now, Dr. Richard Cross is suing his two insurance companies because they’re not picking up the $14,000 legal tab he incurred before the assistant dropped his suit.

The orthopedic surgeon is alleging his malpractice carrier, The Doctors Company, and his business insurer, Greenwich Insurance Company, each declined to pay his legal bills. Cross’ attorney said both insurers refused to cover the expenses because the incident involved conduct during surgery.

The business insurer said the incident should have been covered by Cross’ malpractice insurance, while the malpractice carrier said it wasn’t responsible because the incident didn’t directly involve a patient. Cross pays The Doctors Company an annual premium of $67,270 for a policy that provides $3 million in liability coverage. The suit doesn’t list how much he pays Greenwich for his policy, which also provides $3 million in coverage.

Cross’ suit seeks not only attorney’s fees, but also repayment for the cost of suing the insurers. The original suit stemmed from Cross allegedly throwing a surgical drill and pin at the assistant after being handed the wrong pin during a hip surgery.

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