Doctors Co. v. Sherman Oaks Hospital (Oct. 30, 2013, B246818) 2013 WL 5820256 [nonpublished opinion]

GMSR’s client, a hospital, and three doctors all settled with the claimants. One doctor obtained a good faith settlement determination. The two remaining doctors sought equitable indemnity from the hospital. A jury apportioned the majority of fault to the doctor with a good faith settlement. The other two doctors sought equitable indemnity from the hospital. The parties stipulated to the portion of the overall settlements attributable to noneconomic damages. The doctors claimed that the good faith doctor’s settlement should be allocated first to his noneconomic liability and only thereafter to his economic (joint and several) liability, minimizing the credit for his settlement.

Reversing the trial court’s agreement with the doctors’ position, the Court of Appeal held that the good faith settlement had to be allocated in the same proportion as to total settlement amounts. The resulting recalculation reduced the hospital’s indemnity liability by over $120,000.

Case Briefs