Last Friday a Memphis jury awarded almost $24M to a woman and her husband in a civil suit arising out of what the jury found to be medical negligence arising from the failure to promptly diagnose breast cancer. The woman is in the last weeks of her shortened life.
It is my understanding that the defendant did not make a settlement offer and in fact that the doctor refused to authorize any offer. I do not know if this is correct. I do not know if the case could have been settled. I do know it is hard to make progress on settlement negotiations if one side or the other refuses to discuss settlement.
Many insurance companies that provide professional liability coverage to physicians give the physician the right to refuse to consent to any settlement. This is unlike traditional liability insurance coverage, where the insured may be given the opportunity to voice an opinion on settlement but rarely has any power to block a settlement within policy limits.