Torts – Obstruction of a Civil Action – Coercion by a Medical Association to Preclude Availability of Expert Testimony in a Medical Malpractice Action

Plaintiff approached nine physicians in an attempt to secure an expert witness for a medical malpractice action. All nine refused, allegedly as a result of threats by the county medical association to expel them and cause a cancellation of their malpractice liability insurance if they testified. The association’s actions stemmed from a finding by its “malpractice committee” that the malpractice defendant had not been negligent. Plaintiff then brought this action against the association to recover compensatory and punitive damages for obstruction of a civil action. On appeal from an order granting a motion for nonsuit, held, affirmed. No cause of action can arise from inducing one to assert his legal rights. Agnew v. Parks, (Cal. App. 1959) 343 P. (2d) 118.