Its Idaho, and its Winter. However, this is not a weather blog. Here is a case illustrating the age old conflict of interest between the insured and its insurer. Here, the insured says that defendant attorney’s mission was to protect the insurance company, not the insured.
The Times-News reports: "St. Luke’s Magic Valley Regional Medical Center has sued a Washington attorney who once represented the hospital in an ongoing dispute, saying the attorney did not adequately defend against claims of Medicare fraud and other alleged improprieties.
The complaint, filed Jan. 17 in U.S. District Court in Boise, claims that Tom Luciani intentionally breached his fiduciary duty and committed professional malpractice while representing the hospital and Farmers Insurance between July 2003 and early 2006. Luciani was brought on by the insurance company to represent the hospital during litigation that started in 2001 with a tort claim against the hospital by two former employees.
According to the hospital’s most recent court filing, Luciani had a longstanding relationship with Farmers, which brought him in to replace another lawyer when the case moved to federal court. Following the desires of the insurance company, the complaint states, Luciani’s strategy focused on protecting Farmers from any damages while leaving the hospital open to a possible $22 million judgment.
After the hospital discovered Luciani had no plan to produce an expert witness to counter testimony from a plaintiff’s witness it hired its own counsel in 2006 – Chicago-based McDermott, Will and Emery LLP, one of the largest law firms in the country. "