In Oceanus Insurance Company v. White, a Texas appellate panel reminds doctors that if you even think you might get hit with a lawsuit, you should put your medical malpractice insurer on notice. Quick.
In this case, the insurance company’s provided a cover page to the doctor’s malpractice policy that stated, “The coverage of this policy is limited for only those claims that are first made against the insured and reported to the Company while the policy is in force.”
The doctors’ defense was the obvious: “C’mon, where is the prejudice?”
But the court said that the insurance company is not required to demonstrate that it suffered prejudice from the doctor’s failure to provide notice of the malpractice claim. I think this is bad law.
Sadly, the big loser is likely to be the plaintiffs who no longer have insurance coverage standing behind their claim.
Warning: this case is a lawsuit by a couple with the last name “White” against a doctor with the last name “White”. Incredible confusing.