Wisconsin Lawyers Blog

Wisconsin Lawyers Sharing their Expertise

Malpractice Leads to Unusual Writ of Mandamus

By Eric M. Knobloch • Jul 12th, 2010 • Category: Civil Litigation, Newest Post, Personal Injury Law

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported, a very unusual writ of mandamus has been filed against the Department of Licensing and Regulation involving Dr. Cully White of Milwaukee.  A writ of mandamus (latin for “we command”) is used in situations where the government has a clear duty to act but has not.  While unusual and rare in fiings, it is most commonly used when government agencies fail to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests.  This writ of mandamus seeks investigative materials relative to alleged malpractice committed by a prominent local surgeon.

In 2004 Ken Plants filed a medical malpractice action against Dr. Cully White alleging Dr. White operated on the wrong side of his spine, causing severe and permanent nerve damage.  The lawsuit also alleges Dr. White billed for a surgery ($7000) he did not perform and subsequently lied to Ken Plants about the surgery.  The lawsuit settled in August 2009 for 2.9 million.  Ken Plants refused a confidentiality clause that would have made the terms of the settlement confidential.

The writ targets the Medical Examing Board, which has the responsibility to “investigate allegations of unprofessional conduct in a reasonable time.”  Despite hand delivering every possible piece of evidence to the Board, the Board has not provided Plants or his attorney with investigation materials, or even if the investigation has begun.  The writ demands the Board do the following: 1) provide the petitioner with the Board’s report generated in this matter; 2) if not report has not been generated, an update on actions in furtherance of a report; or 3) how the Board intends to complete its report and when.

This Writ follows an interview with ABC 12 last Fall where the Board admitted that it takes 4, 5, or even 6 years for the Board to take any action following settlement or trial involving medical malpractice.  A typical medical malpractice case takes about 3 years to settle or go to trial.  It then takes 4-6 years before the Board takes any action against the doctor.  Essentially, it could take upwards of 10 years before a doctor is disciplined by the State of acts of negligence.  Prospective patients have absoulutely no way of knowing a doctor they are choosing is being investigated during that 10 year period. The writ appers to force the Board to provide greater transparency and actually carry out the Wisconsin statutes aimed at protecting the citizens of Wisconsin.

Tagged as: , , , , , , ,

Eric M. Knobloch is a Personal Injury Attorney with the Warshafsky Law Firm. Eric specializes in auto accidents, civil rights violations and premises liability. Eric can be reached by: Phone: 414-276-4970 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.warshafsky.com Fax: 414-276-5533 Address: 839 N. Jefferson Street, Suite 300 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Email this author | All posts by Eric M. Knobloch

One Response »

  1. [...] blogged last week about a Writ of Mandamus directed towards the State Medical Examining Board.  Just this week, Milwaukee County Judge Thomas Cooper signed an Order to Show Cause, which [...]

Leave a Reply