There was good reason to believe that Richard Mithoff’s suit against a hospital for granting privileges to a doctor allegedly addicted to painkillers would never survive summary judgment, much less result in a $40.6 million verdict.

Most lawyers and even some Texas Supreme Court justices believed hospitals virtually immune from liability in credentialing suits filed by patients after the high court ruled that the Texas Medical Practice Act required plaintiffs to prove malice in such cases.

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