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Former Arnold & Porter partner Michael Caglioti, who was born with a rare neuromuscular condition, had a stellar career representing financial institutions before his motorized wheelchair malfunctioned and threw him to the sidewalk, breaking both his legs. He alleges that medical malpractice after the accident, by George Washington University Hospital and two medical groups, caused permanent brain damage that forced him to retire in 2002. “The defendants here ruined my life, ruined my career and my life,” Caglioti says. In a case of first impression, the D.C. Court of Appeals last week reversed the dismissal of Caglioti’s suit against the medical providers, which “has restored my faith in the judicial process,” says Caglioti, who is homebound and requires 24-hour assistance. Patrick Regan, Caglioti’s attorney, sued the wheelchair manufacturer and entered a confidential monetary settlement. The company also assigned its equitable indemnification claim to Caglioti. The appeals court found that the assignment, which hasn’t been addressed before by the court, “is supported by and not in conflict with the law in this jurisdiction.” Duke University Law School professor Erwin Chemerinsky made the oral arguments for Caglioti at Regan’s request. Attorneys for the defendants couldn’t be reached or declined to comment.
Brendan Smith can be contacted at [email protected].

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