A missed deadline on the part of the registered agent of Salem Orthopedics cost the company a whopping $2.3 million in damages.
Salem Orthopedics, had argued in Roanoke Circuit Court that its registered agent, attorney Jeff Dorsey, did not inform it of the suit when it was first filed in June of 2019. The company said it wasn’t aware of the legal action against it until early September, by which time a $2.3 million judgment had already been entered against it. However, the judge denied the clinic’s subsequent request to vacate that judgment and to allow it to file a formal response.
When the patient, Kimberly Salyers filed a lawsuit against Salem Orthopedics and two members of its medical staff for medical negligence, Attorney Dorsey was officially served with the lawsuit and, from there, had three weeks to file a response, which came due June 27. Salem’s lawyers argue that Mr. Dorsey did not forward the Summons and Complaint to Salem Orthopedics. Nor did he otherwise apprise Salem Orthopedics of the pending action against it.
Citing lack of response from the company or its representatives to the serving of the lawsuit, Roanoke Circuit Court awarded $2.5 million, subsequently reduced to $2.3 million to the plaintiff. Because the defendants were in default at the time of the hearing, they were not notified of it and had no representatives present in court. Only after Dorsey came to know of the outcome, he communicated it to Salem, which the company claims to be the very first notice they’ve ever received of the suit.
Based on this argument, they submitted a motion asking the court to set aside the award and allow the company to properly respond to the suit.