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Berkshire unit prevails in medical dispute with AIG unit



A medical malpractice by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has won trials with an American International Group Inc. unit in a 2002 case.

The origin of the complex case dates back to October 2002, when a doctor performed a laparoscopic hysterectomy . on Vicki Bramlett, who died of complications a few days later, according to a Tuesday ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago The Medical Protective Co. in Fort Wayne, Indiana, v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co., now known as AIG Specialty Insurance.

Ms. Bramlett's husband and children filed a false death claim in Texas State Court against the doctor who performed the operation, his clinic and the hospital where the operation took place. At the time, the doctor and his clinic held $ 200,000 medical insurance with Berkshire Hathaway MedPro.

The hospital settled with Bramletts for about $ 2.3 million, but MedPro refused to settle the case against the doctor and his clinic for $ 200,000.

The case against the doctor went to trial in August 2005, and a jury handed down a surprising $ 1

4 million for the family, including $ 11 million in actual damages and $ 3 million in punitive damages.

In 2009, the Texas Supreme Court limited physicians' liability to $ 1.6 million, the statutory limit for physicians, but held the family could sue MedPro directly for the difference between the statutory ceiling and the jury.

MedPro paid the family $ 1.6 million, and the family then sued the insurer for the rest of the price. After the court denied MedPro's request for a summary judgment, the parties decided a confidential amount. MedPro then asked its insurance company, American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co., to cover the settlement, but the AIG refused.

MedPro then sued AISLIC for breach of contract under its policy, which provided $ 5 million in coverage. AISLIC moved to a summary assessment based on an insurance exclusion that prevents coverage for any erroneous acts that occur before the insurance began as the insured could reasonably have foreseen. The district court ruled in favor of the AIG unit but was overturned by the 7th district in an earlier decision.

A jury then ruled in MedPro's favor and AISLIC appealed. A panel court with three judges ruled unanimously in MedPro's favor in Tuesday's decision.

The panel considered that the claim against MedPro for an erroneous act was sufficient to invoke coverage under the policy. whether MedPro's claim was made before the start of the insurance period. After a careful examination of the term "claim", the panel concluded that it was not.

MedPro Attorney John R. Gerstein, Attorney at Clyde & Co. The US LLP in Washington said in a statement, "MedPro is pleased to have the trial verdict upheld in its favor by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. 19659002] AIG lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.

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