Bernie Mac’s widow has dropped a wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2010 against the late comedian’s longtime doctor.
McCullough could not be reached.
McCullough’s lawyer, Cannon Lambert Sr., said they specifically asked the judge to dismiss the case in a way that allows them to refile it within a year.
“There is no intention to drop,” Lambert said. “Instead there are some internal issues we want to shore up.”
Earles said Wednesday that the lawsuit has “had an extraordinarily negative effect” on his career and that he is glad it has been dismissed.
“It never should have been filed,” Earles said. “I am not responsible for Bernie Mac’s demise, it is just the truth.”
Earles’ lawyer, Mike Prangle, said the suit was dismissed Jan. 15 because “they had no legitimate case against Dr. Earles.”
Mac died weeks later.
Another possible complication, however, is that Earles did not have medical malpractice insurance when the lawsuit was filed, which could have reduced the amount of money the plaintiffs could have recovered, according to lawyers specializing in medical malpractice.
The Illinois Medical Practice Act does not require a doctor to carry medical malpractice insurance.
Prangle characterized the lack of coverage as “an inadvertent lapse.”
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has had Earles on probation since 2003 for failure to pay state taxes.
Earles’ wife, Sylvia, said that he had malpractice insurance when he was treating Mac and has it now through CARE Professional Liability Association LLC. She said he has an agreement with the state to pay about $20,000 in unpaid taxes related to his skin care company.
“It had nothing to do with his medical practice or practice with medicine,” she said.
Earles also has a pending 2008 lawsuit against Mac, alleging roughly $1 million in unpaid medical bills.
But lawyers for the corporation that collects royalties for Mac’s performances dispute those allegations.
“He has been paid in full, and he has no legal evidence of any agreement that was made between him and the deceased,” said Manotti Jenkins, a lawyer for MacMan Enterprises.
Source: The Chicago Tribune
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