Recent Decision Highlights Risk of Conflicts in Multi-Defendant Cases


Whenever more than one healthcare provider employed by the same entity is sued in a medical malpractice case, the question arises whether they can all be represented by the same defense attorney. The promotion of a unified defense and the reduction of defense costs are two of the more significant factors which often lead to the retention of one attorney to represent multiple defendants. However, a recent opinion from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia serves as a powerful reminder to defense counsel and those who retain them that they should thoroughly investigate and identify potential conflicts of interest that may preclude the representation of multiple defendants.

In Sanford v. Commonwealth of Virginia, Civil Action No. 3-08 CV835, the plaintiff’s decedent had been hospitalized for the removal of a kidney.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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