Provided by: Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
June 7, 2018
I had Oceanus for my malpractice. I received a letter from my attorney they aren't going to be paid by the carrier now that the carrier is out of business and I have to hire them directly. I was also told my case is on hold. I believe my attorney filed a claim in Oceanus' liquidation. Now what? Sit and wait? Pay the law firm previously appointed by Oceanus?
Please advise, thanks.
Sitting and waiting was the plan for many, however, recently New York judges have been reaching similar conclusions - the malpractice cases filed by patients against doctors insured by Oceanus shall proceed, regardless of the process of the liquidation. The theory commonly relied on is a sense of fairness and irrelevancy of whether or not Oceanus pays out on claims - that whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recourse has no bearing on whether or not the liquidator awards monies towards a paying insured. And, if money is due to the insured, it shall be awarded to reimburse any recovery by a plaintiff. So, this update might press certain situations out of "sit and wait" and require action. Action being, getting ready to defend the underlying case. To the extent other parties are on the action, perhaps another insurer is available to pay down the potential exposure - hopefully. If not, and you are named singularly - consider exploring who else was involved in care or chain of events - perhaps there is another insurer in the chain better suited to shoulder the risk of loss.
Senior Bankruptcy and Litigation partner of K&K, Steven Sheinwald, Esq. is handling Oceanus questions and strategy for K&K. Call him with questions at 516 747 6700 x. 309 or email him at SSheinwald@kirschenbaumesq.com.