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Andrew Bergh
Andrew Bergh

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April 17, 2009

Andrew Bergh: Stabbed in the back

Special to the Journal

That's probably how Francis Roche, a lawyer in Hudson, N.Y., felt when a long-time client accused him of malpractice following an especially bad outcome at trial. Given the recent ruling by a New York appeals court, however, it might be Roche who has the last laugh.

For about 25 years, Roche had loyally defended the insureds of Claverack Cooperative Insurance Company against personal injury claims. Their business relationship took a hit, though, when a jury found one of Claverack's insureds 75 percent liable in a wrongful death case. Since the jury awarded $4.2 million in damages, that meant the insured – Roche's client – got tagged for almost $3.2 million.

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