NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that two doctors cannot pursue a malicious prosecution claim against a patient who sued them for malpractice and then dropped the lawsuit.
The case began when patient Tracy Allain was told by Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2005 that a previous medical procedure had left a guide wire in a vein leading to her heart. Allain sued Williamson Medical Center, Dr. Elliot Himmelfarb and Dr. Douglas York claiming negligent care.
Allain dropped her suit a few weeks later after VUMC took responsibility for the wire. The physicians then sued her.
The unanimous decision published Tuesday stopped the lawsuit. The opinion said a higher standard for malicious prosecution is needed because they can deter people from using the courts to settle disputes.
Read the opinion at http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/himmelfarbehopn.pdf
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.