Thursday, March 02, 2006

Advocacy group registers its first success in defending doctors


Doctor's Advocate, established last year to help Pennsylvania physicians fight frivolous malpractice lawsuits, scored its first victory this month.
The Pottstown-based organization said it succeeded in getting Dr. Lynne Coslett-Charlton, an obstetrician/gynecologist from Wilkes- Barre, released from a lawsuit filed in December 2004.

In October, Coslett-Charlton sought the help of Doctor's Advocate, which brought in an outside law firm -- Frey, Petrakis, Deeb, Blum & Briggs of Philadelphia -- to help review the case.

In the incident that took place in 2004, Coslett-Charlton met with a woman late in her pregnancy for the first and only time. After an examination revealed serious complications, she sent the patient directly to the hospital. The doctors at the hospital took over treatment. The patient later sued several doctors, including Coslett-Charlton, for malpractice.

After reviewing the lawsuit, Doctor's Advocate demanded that the plaintiff's attorney drop Coslett-Charlton from the lawsuit under threat of a countersuit. The lawsuit against Coslett-Charlton was dropped this month.

"I was upset after being named in the lawsuit because I knew that I was not guilty of malpractice," Coslett-Charlton said in a statement. "My case dragged on for over a year. Doctor's Advocate got it dropped in seven weeks."

Doctor's Advocate, launched in August, was founded by Robert B. Surrick, a retired trial lawyer, and Dr. Elliot Menkowitz, an orthopedic surgeon who lives in Pottstown.


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