The Doctor’s Advocate | First Quarter 2017
Case Studies

What to Expect from Litigation: Dr. Del Zotto’s Perspective

Our Case Studies series highlights one member’s personal experience in facing a malpractice claim. Any physician who might become the target of litigation can benefit from hearing peers talk about the emotional impact of being sued and the support they received throughout the litigation process.

This quarter, we feature Thomas Del Zotto, DPM. A 50-year-old woman presented to Dr. Del Zotto with painful lesions on the bottom of her foot. After diagnosis, Dr. Del Zotto discussed treatment options, but the results of the treatment were temporary, and the patient chose to undertake the next level of treatment. When the patient was still unsatisfied, she brought a claim against Dr. Del Zotto. Dr. Del Zotto describes this experience as the “overwhelming feeling of being a duck in a pond with half a dozen shotguns pointed right at you.”

In a case such as this one, where patient and doctor had varying recollections of the postoperative instructions, selection of defense is of vital importance. The Doctors Company put together a winning defense team that Dr. Del Zotto describes as a “remarkable compilation of many pieces of a puzzle.” Dr. Del Zotto’s testimony and his defense team carefully helped the jury understand the medicine behind the case—and the jury exonerated him.

Watch this compelling video, which outlines the strong team behind Dr. Del Zotto as he faced a difficult battle in the courtroom.


The Doctor’s Advocate is published by The Doctors Company to advise and inform its members about loss prevention and insurance issues.

The guidelines suggested in this newsletter are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. They attempt to define principles of practice for providing appropriate care. The principles are not inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods reasonably directed at obtaining the same results.

The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider in light of all circumstances prevailing in the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.

The Doctor’s Advocate is published quarterly by Corporate Communications, The Doctors Company. Letters and articles, to be edited and published at the editor’s discretion, are welcome. The views expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or official policy of The Doctors Company. Please sign your letters, and address them to the editor.

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