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After entire action dismissed w/ prejudice (due to tiny settlement) what type of document can I file with court to protect self?

Roseville, CA |

In CA civil med mal case, I was forced under duress/threat of harm to sign settlement agreement ( under reporting limits) for an egregiously negligent surgeon. Now that case is over, what type of document or letter can I file with court to protect myself and my reputation? The defense attorneys/surgeon used defamation, character assassination, false info & perjury to beat motion. Judge ruled with false facts, errors and he weighed evidence. My atty refused to go to trial, threatened to sue me for hourly fees if I didn't sign agreement with false info & extremem gag clause. The defense attorneys threatened to put in public domain my PHI and personal info again if I didn't sign. After signed, I learned info was withheld about defendant & my atty NEVER had medical expert review. Now what?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Not sure what you need. Once a lawsuit is filed, the court file becomes a matter of public record. Are you seeking to seal the court file?

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/sealing-records-in-california?ref=kb_serp_title_2

    If there was a settlement agreement with mutual releases signed, you should be fine. If the case was just dismissed with prejudice and no releases were signed, then you are still exposed to potential liability for malicious prosecution, abuse of process and defamation.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


  2. Virtually all settlement agreements of professional malpractice cases include a provision for mutual confidentiality. Be very careful not to breach that provision in any way for any reason. Contact an attorney for assistance in understanding your confidentiality obligations if you have any doubt on this point.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


  3. While I cannot give you legal advice in this forum, the dismissal with prejudiced ended your case. The case is closed. There is nothing to file. If someone says untrue things about you later, contact a local defamation attorney to see if you have a case.

    THIS RESPONSE IS INTENDED TO CONVEY GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY. IT SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON OR TAKEN AS LEGAL ADVICE. FURTHER, THIS RESPONSE IS NOT INTENDED TO AND DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

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