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April 28, 1975

Malpractice Insurance-Reply

Author Affiliations

AMA Health Law Department Chicago

JAMA. 1975;232(4):347. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03250040007004

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In Reply.—  In making his decision as to which person(s) and/or institutions(s) should be properly named as defendants in a professional liability suit, the one essential element that the plaintiff's attorney must properly evaluate is whether or not, for each possible defendant, negligence can be proved. The fact that a possible defendant has substantial assets, ie, insurance, will usually be persuasive in the decision regarding which possible defendants should be named in a suit when it is expected that the negligence of this defendant in this instance can be successfully demonstrated in court. Of course, if the court subsequently finds that this defendant was not negligent, his assets are not available to compensate the plaintiff for any damages he may allege.