Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Contingency Fee Agreement

In Massachusetts, there are limits to what a patient can be considered a damage. The limits are called harm limits. Here are the types of damage for patients who have been injured during medical treatment: The exception of the seven-year limit is in cases of retained foreign bodies, such as surgical instruments. There are different rules that apply when the patient is a minor child. This makes it especially important to speak with a medical misconduct lawyer once there are signs of injury. To file the complaint, the patient and the lawyer must not be brought all reviews of the claim until the reference date of the malpractice medical claim. Incompetent or careless doctors, nurses, hospitals and care homes must be held accountable. The hazard of contingencies is essential for this purpose, because without this type of agreement, victims would not be able to afford the hourly rates of highly qualified lawyers, nor the pre-fee required to prove their case in court. Overall, it provides access to justice. Apart from the royalty percentage, any legal fee agreement should cover the issue of the cost of the case. Personal injury and illegitimate deaths can be very costly, with expert fees, exclusion and minutes, court documents, medical records and reports. These costs must be incurred during the course of the case and cannot wait for criminal damages to be resumed.

In a recent 1:28 rule, Massachusetts Appeals Court held that the lawyer is responsible for proving adequacy when it comes to the appropriateness of an agreement on conditional costs. A simple practitioner, Landry, sued her clients, Elizabeth Haartz and her husband Walter Davis II, for breach of contract after he stopped paying Landry`s fees for his work in selling Haartz`s shares in their family`s company, Haartz Corp. The sale of shares made the pair $20,000,000.00. They filed a counter-action in which they explained that Landry, who had worked for 15 years on her estate planning and other different legal needs and whom she had trusted and thought as a friend, had charged them an overcharging in violation of the rules of professional conduct. Landry had presented Haartz and Davis with a contingency agreement in which he was to receive a tax of 1.5 per cent of the proceeds of the sale ($300,000.00). Apparently, Davis had wondered why Landry was not calculating an hourly rate as he had in the past, and Landry replied that “it was the way” to calculate the respective benefits. After the contract was entered into and the Landry couple then paid $121,000 of the $US 300,000 earned under the agreement, their accountant told them that such a sum of money for legal work on a share sale was not only unusual, but “out of line”. They immediately suspended the payments and, in July 2004, Landry filed a complaint against them for breach of contract.

In October 2008, a jury found Landry in favour of the accused for breach of contract. In addition, the judge found that the conditional royalty agreement in that case was contrary to Chapter 93A and had awarded Landry three damages in the counter-action, finding that Landry had failed to meet his burden to prove that his fees were reasonable. When Landry appealed, he failed to convince the Court of Appeal that the judge had erred in placing the burden of proof on the clients` counter-request. It is interesting to note that the judge found that the result (a disproportionate overcharging) would have been the same, regardless of which party is charged with the evidence. The imponderable fees provide access to the best legal representation available to people who are facing injuries or deaths due to preventable medical errors.