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Finger-pointing after patient death leads to lawyer disqualification

When John Charles Sanford died after surgery at the MCV hospital in December 2006, his family found a lot of people to blame, from the medical personnel who treated Sanford to the nurses and security personnel who restrained him when he became delusional.

Two teams of defense lawyers secured their clients’ consent to joint representation.

When the dust settled after 50-plus depositions, the blame game began in earnest. On Dec. 2, a Richmond federal judge disqualified both groups of lawyers. The judge seemed to think the veteran lawyers handling the defense should have seen the conflict coming.

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