Can a physician who was secondarily named in a malpractice suitthat was dropped days before trial, recover costs incurred while preparing a defense?

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Can a physician who was secondarily named in a malpractice suitthat was dropped days before trial, recover costs incurred while preparing a defense?

Asked on April 7, 2011 under Malpractice Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the exact circumstances. As a general matter, a party is responsible for its own costs in a legal matter. However, if the lawsuit was frivolous--that is, there was not a good reason in the law or based on the facts to bring it--then the party sued may be able to recover his or her legal costs. So if this physician should never have been named, or the suit never brought, he or she may be able to get his or her costs. Similarly, even if he or she can't recover all of the costs, if part of the suit was frivolous or abusive--for example, you brough unnecessary or unsupported motions, which the doctor had to respond to--the doctor may be able to recover costs connected with those specific elements of the suit.


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