An internet television program that explores the intersection of medicine and the law.

John Degnan Discusses a Malpractice Case he Defended and its Significance

By John Degnan to Malpractice Cases of Note


In this episode, Healthcare Matters interviews ALL MD attorney John Degnan on a malpractice case he defended and how it illustrates the importance of the physician-patient relationship.

Degnan is a shareholder at BRIGGS & MORGAN. He practices law in Minnesota, representing clients in business disputes, as well as members of the legal and medical communities in professional matters.

Degnan is a charter member of the Association of Liability Lawyers in Medical Defense (ALL MD), a nationwide organization that connects healthcare providers with attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice defense.

Interview was recorded October 14, 2015

Question 4 of 5


Mike Matray: Welcome to Healthcare Matters, where the medical and legal communities come together to discuss healthcare matters. I’m your host Mike Matray and today’s guest is John Degnan. He’s a shareholder at Briggs and Morgan in Minneapolis, where he regularly represents clients in business disputes as well as members of the legal and medical communities in professional matters. Welcome back, John.

John Degnan: Thank you. Glad to be here again.

Mike: You had mentioned that there was an interesting case you might be interested in discussing. Could you tell me a little bit about the case and your involvement?

John: Well, I tried cases over the years. The one that stands out though that really I think is instructive about the importance of physicians keeping a good rapport with patients at all times, whether or not there’s a bad result or not. I had a case a while back that involved a plaintiff who became a paraplegic, or quadriplegic, when he fell in the hospital.

Mike: Okay.

John: They sued the hospital and the primary care physician who supposedly didn’t pick up the fall in time. Everybody else was out of the case by the time we tried the case, but the doctor still cared about his patient and that was clear from just the way he approached it on the witness stand. And also the patient still cared a lot for the physician. I still remember one of the best quotes was, “He saved my life.” And when a jury sees that a physician is trying to do his or her best, then indeed most times they will find for the defendant physician.

And when you have a caring physician that has strived to keep a rapport and a relationship with a patient, it makes a difference – sometimes even from having a claim made, but particularly when you have to try a case it makes a difference many times between winning and losing.