A trial judge instituted the court’s power to punish “fraud on the court” in a case involving a doctor who gave false testimony in a medical malpractice lawsuit, and who has now lost his ability to deny liability, reports Virginia Lawyers Weekly.
Circuit Judge G. Greer made the ruling on March 27th, allowing for a trial on the issues of damages only against cardiologist Jack A. Painter.
Patient David French argues in his $2 million claim that he suffered irreversible neurological damage after a cardiac catheterization operation resulted in a lack of blood flow to his right leg.
Greer wrote that after French filed the lawsuit against Painter, Painter began an elaborate scheme of deception and “abusive conduct to undermine the court’s ability impartially to adjudicate the case.”
Greer determined there to be convincing evidence of fraud, writing that “the court cannot tolerate such conduct, and a sanction is unquestionably warranted. The court grants the motion for sanctions, strikes the defendant’s answer, and grants the plaintiff summary judgment on the issue of liability. The case will proceed to trial on the issue of damages only.”
Greer did clarify, however, that he found no improper conduct on the part of Painter’s legal counsel.
We will keep you updated as this story unfolds.