Litigation Management of Lawsuits in Healthcare Organizations

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Boston College
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Lawsuits can damage any organization from both a reputation point of view as well as from a financial perspective. Organizations that tackle lawsuits spend a lot of time and money dealing with such legal procedures. Among the organizations that are familiar with lawsuits include healthcare organizations. Lawsuits that healthcare organizations face relate to various reasons, such as professional negligence from their part. One way to ensure that suits do not damage the organization's image is by managing the litigation process. Health organizations need to consider specific factors to ensure that litigation runs smoothly. Effective litigation from the moment an organization receives the notice letter to preparation for trial will determine the success of the health care institution in any lawsuit.

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Notice of Intent to Sue Letter

One element in any lawsuit is the receipt and response to a Notice of Intent to Sue Letter. A Notice of Intent to Sue Letter represents a document that individuals or organizations receive to inform them that the sender intends to sue in a court concerning a particular case (Dale, n.d.). One key aspect of letters of intent sue is that they specify conduct that warranted for the individual or organization to sue. For a health care organization receiving the letter of intent to sue, it must first consult a legal profession on the way forward. If the health organization does not have a lawyer, they must hire one who will advise on the way forward. The other key element is responding to the letter on time. For instance, in the United States has its laws on how organizations can respond to a letter of intent to sue. There is a limitation on time required to respond to the letter. Responding to the Notice of Intent to Sue Letter will involve either agreeing or disagreeing with the charges brought against the health organization.

Selecting Defense Counsel

Another critical element that health organization should consider in selecting and working with Defense Counsel in the civil suit. Defense Counsel can include the health organization's lawyer or hiring of external legal companies that act as the defense counsel of the organization. The working relationship between the organization and the defense counsel will be vital moving forward in the duration of the civil suit. The working relationship between the healthcare institution and the defense counsel will depend on certain qualities. One quality includes effective communication. Effective communication, in this case, entails both towards each other as well as communicating with court officials. Effective litigation relies mostly on the way a defense counsel communicates (Vitsentzatos, 2017). Besides effective communication, another set of skills that the defense counsel must have are interpersonal and negotiation skills. For a defense counsel to be effective, he or she must have interpersonal as well as negotiation skills as they will interacting with different individuals all through the litigation process.

Responding to Summons and Complaints

Litigation management also involves the healthcare organization responding to summons and complaints. Responding to summons and complaints is an essential procedure in litigation, and any organization must respond to them. How a plaintiff or court serves a complaint or summons will determine the response by the defendant according to the law. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12 states how individuals and organizations respond to summons or complaints forwarded to them by the plaintiff (U.S. District Court, n.d.). Under the directives prescribed under the federal laws stipulates that the defendant must respond to the complaint or summon within a given time. The response can be either answering the complaint or filing a motion that challenges the summons or complaints from the defendant. The law requires the defendant to file any motion against the complaint in courts (U.S. District Court, n.d.). Following the procedures in responding to a summon or complaint will avoid any further legal action on the defendant.

Trial Preparation

Trial preparation represents the last element in an effective litigation management process. Having proper preparation will make the defendant in the health care lawsuit to be in an excellent position to win the case. Particular items of the trial will be crucial for any health care organization that is facing a lawsuit. The defense counsel must know the critical witnesses in the lawsuit against the health organization. Knowing the witnesses will direct the defense counsel on the strategy to use. Th evidence that the plaintiff presents in civil litigation is also vital during trial preparation (Slater, 2017). The impact of trial preparation is one that cannot be ignored. Trial preparation will make the healthcare organization and defense counsel understand the case better. Trial preparation also invokes confidence in the defense side together with the healthcare organization in question to tackle the civil suit.


In summary, lawsuits can have adverse effects on individuals as well as organizations, both financially and reputation-wise. Health care institutions represent types of organizations that receive lawsuits from individuals. Litigation management will lead to such health care institutions effectively deal with the lawsuits. The health care organizations can manage their litigation process by examining aspects such as receiving and responding to a Notice of Intent to Sue letters, selecting an appropriate Defense Counsel, responding to summons and complaints, and preparing well for the trial. Health care organizations need to examine various elements in such a litigation process, which will ensure that they don't end up paying millions in lawsuits against them.


Dale, L. (n.d.). How to respond to an intent-to-sue letter. Legal Beagle. Retrieved from

Slater, B. (2017). The importance of trial preparation. Best Lawyers. Retrieved from

U.S. District Court. (n.d.) Responding to summons and complaint. U.S District Court. Retrieved from

Vitsentzatos, C. (2017). Ten qualities that you need in civil litigation attorney. Medium. Retrieved from

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