(CN) – A doctor failed to prove that another doctor defamed him in expert testimony in three separate medical malpractice cases, a New York appeals court ruled.
When Dr. Robert Cattani sued Dr. Richard Marfuggi for testifying against him three times, the trial court warned Cattani and his counsel that doctors had absolute immunity in such cases.
Still, Cattani pressed on, alleging that Marfuggi was participating in a “larger fraudulent scheme.”
The trial court was not convinced and dismissed Cattani’s complaint as frivolous, imposing sanctions of $1,000 against him and his attorney.
The justices of the Manhattan-based First New York Appellate Division agreed, ruling that Cattani did not even succeed in proving that Marfuggi’s statements were false.
“Given the complete lack of necessary detail, the well-established nature of the absolute immunity from suits like this afforded by witnesses in civil judicial proceedings, and the fact that plaintiff’s counsel, by his own admission, was not even aware of the larger-fraudulent scheme exception to absolute-immunity bar when he brought the instant action and when he declined to withdraw it, the court properly found the action to be frivolous,” the justices wrote.