WEEKLEY | SCHULTE | VALDES and Barr Murman & Tonelli proudly announce that the two Tampa law firms have merged. The firm, now known as WEEKLEY | SCHULTE | VALDES | MURMAN | TONELLI, will continue its state-wide practice in the areas of mediation and alternative dispute resolution, workers compensation, and personal injury liability defense, focusing in the areas of automobile and trucking liability, premises liability, medical malpractice, professional malpractice, and nursing home liability.

After a week-long arbitration, a local physician received a $1,500,000.00 award against healthcare giant OptumRx, a pharmacy benefits management company associated with United Healthcare.  The award, which also required OptumRx to pay all costs associated with the litigation, included a finding that our client, a family practice physician, was entitled to punitive damages in the amount of $1,000,000.00 due to OptumRx’s “intentional misconduct or gross negligence” that was “condoned, ratified or consented to” by Optum’s officers, directors or managers.  The case arose after OptumRx made false statements about our client, wrongly labeling him as a physician-sanctioned by the Office of Inspector General.  In actuality, OptumRx had misidentified our client – the person who had been sanctioned lived in another city in Florida and was not even a physician.  The arbitration panel concluded that OptumRx injured our client’s reputation in the community by falsely advising pharmacies, our client’s patients, and others that our client was a sanctioned provider.  The evidence demonstrated that our client had lost patients as a result.  OptumRx failed to acknowledge the mistake and continued making the false statements, despite repeated attempts by our client to get OptumRx to investigate whether OptumRx had identified another a person with a similar name.

 

Chris Schulte and Megan Collins obtained a defense verdict in Hillsborough County on behalf an orthopedic spine physician in a medical malpractice case in which it was alleged that a spinal decompression surgery caused spinal instability requiring a spinal fusion surgery.

Weekley Schulte Valdes proudly announces its inclusion in the 2017 “Best Law Firms” list by U.S. News & World Report. This is the fourth consecutive year that Weekley Schulte Valdes has been included among this elite group of law firms. This year, Weekley Schulte Valdes was ranked in the area of Medical Malpractice Defense Litigation and Personal Injury Defense Litigation.

The U.S. News Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. Firms included in the “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. In order to be eligible for a ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer listed in the Best Lawyers in America© list for that particular location and specialty. Paul Weekley, Chris Schulte, and Jody Valdes are all included.