Credibility of Doctors in Fake Sick Note Scam Forever in Question
This week at the MacIver Institute, I interviewed local personal injury attorney Kelin Olson regarding the doctors who were handing out fake excuses on the Capitol Square last year during the protests. Olson spoke about the credibility issues the doctors would have if they were ever required to be witnesses or if they were involved in a malpractice lawsuit.
In Olson’s practice as a personal injury attorney, one of the questions that he has to deal with is the credibility of witnesses. In the interview, Olson was asked about that issue with the doctors involved and how it would affect his decision making as an attorney.
Regarding the School of Medicine’s lack of openness regarding the discipline of the doctors involved, Olson said he understood that many disciplinary situations are kept confidential by employers.
However, “If I was going against a doctor in a legal proceeding I would want to know if he participated because it goes to his credibility as a witness. So that’s where my concern would come in.,” Olson said. “If I had a malpractice action or something against the UW doctor and if I didn’t think he was being truthful about what happened, I would want to know if he had lied in the past. Because that’s evidence of character, that’s evidence of, people that commit fraud, that’s a crime you can tell a jury about because it goes to the person’s veracity or credibility.”
“If there’s a doctor who is willing to lie about this, what else is he willing to lie about? People say that it isn’t that big of a deal but it’s still committing fraud.”
Whether Olson would feel comfortable using any of the doctors involved as witnesses, he said that while he would have to interview the doctor, it would be something that could benefit the other side. “If they have been disciplined for fraud, that would be something that I would want to know as an attorney because it does go into whether they would lie to benefit themselves or someone else.”
“Whether or not I would use one of them it depends on the person, depends on the situation, depends what I needed them for. I might, but then again I’d rather not have to deal with that issue.”
Olson also explained that it would depend on the venue. “If you’ve got a jury of people that supported the protesting, you may not mind that you’ve got this doctor because they may give him more credence. So it’s a two-edged sword.” Olson said that Madison, for example, would be more forgiving of the doctor’s actions, while he definitely would not want them as witnesses in Waukesha or Washington County.