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How do we solve the problem of excessive litigation in the U.S

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by sirus_virus, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster

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    It has become clear that excessive litigation is a huge problem these days, and it looks like it is getting worse(at least in some parts of the country). Doctors are shying away from some procedures and patients due to fear of litigation, and excessive tests are being ordered. This obviously is not the ideal way a healthcare system should run. What do you guys think will be the best way to curb this menace? For example I think that a good solution might be to get away from private medmal insurers and allow the government become the sole medmal insurance provider(since they are hell bent on sticking their nose in everything). That way when the taxpayer is the one comming out of pocket to pay for those large awards, they will think the case through properly as a juror. Any other suggestions?
     
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  3. medicineman1

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    make it a crime with penalties in the event that a claim turns out to be frivilous or fradulent. I am talking law across the board. (civil suits, medical malpractice suits-the whole gammut) In other words- false accusation/perjury equals a felony.

    Raising the bar for law school admissions. Closing down 3/4's of all law schools, and (kidding) - taking the remaining attorneys out for a long fishing trip! ha
     
  4. dutchman

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    You solve the problem by counseling medstudents to avoid certain high risk specialties(OB/GYN comes to mind). When some states start running out of certain specialists, they will fix the problem.
     
  5. veo1

    veo1 Junior Member

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    Physicians need to go on strike. Its time to get down and dirty, forget that hippocratic oath nonsense. You can save the sentimental BS for Grey's Anatomy. The reality is careers and lives are being ruined. Physician autonomy and respect are declining at an alarming rate. Its time to act. With the upcoming generation of physicians facing outrageous debt before they're even out in practice, I just don't know if its worth it anymore if we've gotta worry about all of this.
     
  6. dutchman

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    Yes sir

    How could someone perform at a high level and save lives, when all these negatives are weighing on their shoulders daily:

    -Threat of litigation with potential of bakruptcy.
    -Declining income.
    -HUGE debt.
    -Long and difficult training(expected but still a challenge).
    -increased government control.

    etc

    At what point does it become a ridiculous idea to be a physician? Honestly, love for medicine is not enough reason to accept all that crap. A fight is in order.
     
  7. docB

    docB Chronically painful
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Socialism wouldn't help unless you also wrote in immunity for the docs as a cost saving measure.

    Patients don't have any idea if they got good care or not. They, and juries, think that bad ourcome = malpractice. It's the lawyers who spin bad outcomes into $$$. So it would be sometime unfair and universally unpopular to jail losing plaintiffs.

    States are already running out of specialists. Amazingly all the lawyers in the legislatures who are funded by other trial lawyers don't find this to be a problem.

    A strike will just solidify the hatred of doctors. Then at least we'd be = to lawyers in someting.

    Wouldn't this thread be more appropriate in the topics forum?
     
  8. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster

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    FYI, society already hates you as it stands, so stop decieving yourself. You are looked upon as a pampered incompetent white coat wearing golfer. Sorry to say. Since you have personally shut down every suggestion, I must ask what your own personal suggestions are.
     
  9. Adam_K

    Adam_K Indentured

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    I think that the simplest way would be to take the local, lay jury out of the equation.

    Like tax and immigration cases, malpractice ought to be tried in a specialized federal court (of experts).
     
  10. nolagas

    nolagas Member

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    That wouldn't solve the problem. The doctor almost never loses in court as it is. The problem is that the cost of defense and the occasional large verdict is great enough to make it less costly in the short term to settle out of court than to fight it, even if you'll win. The lawyers and patients think/know that they can bring a weak suit and get offered thousands of dollars to make it go away quickly and quietly, so they sue.

    I also don't think you can make it a crime to bring a frivolous lawsuit. What you could do is force the losing prosecutor to pay the court costs of the defense (countersuit?). That would make defending yourself the less costly choice and would shut down all but the most legitimate lawsuits.
     
  11. StephenGreen

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    "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."
     
  12. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky

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    I actually don't think this is too far off.

    The number of law schools and lawyers in this nation borders on exorbitant. I personally think that with too many lawyers comes "made-up" litigation.

    A hundred plus years ago, medical school was very similar to what law school is now. There was very little regulation of the profession; basically, anyone could just open up a medical school, and if you could pay the tuition, then you could enroll, graduate, and practice medicine. Medicine finally wised up and standardized accreditation, curricula, acceptance criteria, etc. The result was a relatively uniform quality of education and physicians. Plus, for medicine in the U.S., you actually have to graduate from an accredited school AND residency program, plus pass the licensure and board exams.

    For law, the bar exam is the choke point. As long as you pass that exam, it doesn't matter what type of law school you went to; the school doesn't even have to be accredited. In fact, I'm not even sure if graduation from a law school is a requirement as long as you pass the bar??? Maybe someone could clarify. Any monkey can study for and pass a specific exam, but that's not what makes a physician, and it shouldn't be what makes a lawyer. If the quality of the law schools were more tightly regulated, then we could select those who really want to practice law. I think that would go a long way to curing the issue of litigation in medicine and elsewhere.
     
  13. medicineman1

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    "lets k-ll all the lawyers"
     
  14. loveumms

    loveumms Senior Member

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    Once talked to a high powered medmal lawyer and he said that he turns down thousands of calls each year. He says he only takes the claims he thinks he can win. There actually is a GREAT deal of money the plaintiff has to pay to win a case. They have to pay experts for depositions and then to testify in the actual case.

    I agree that almost anyone thinks they can sue for a bad outcome but, any good medmal lawyer knows this is not the case and will not take the case. Most lawyers have a physician they pay to verify the case and it's merits. They don't want to lose either.

    It would be very interesting to enact something that makes the plaintiff pay for not guilty verdicts. A whole lot more cases would go to trial. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure, regardless of whether you win or not you still have to list that you have been named in a suit for recertification and licenses.

    A sure way to help ensure you will not be sued - document, document and then document even more. Cover you butt at every turn and be EMPATHETIC. This same medmal lawyer told a story about two physicians who were in a practice together. Dr. X took care of Mr. Smith regularly and admitted him to the hospital on a Thursday. Mr. Smith was very ill and over the weekend Dr. Y covered for Dr. X while on call. The family loved Dr. Y but, Mr. Smith died as a result of a mistake Dr. Y made. Dr. Y went to the funeral while Dr. X was never to be seen again by the family. The family came to this lawyers office and filed a suit against Dr. X who had made no mistake but also made no effort to contact the family after the death. After explaining that Dr. X couldn't be sued but, Dr. Y probably could - with a some what large payout - the family decided they didn't want to proceed with the suit. Just goes to show that going the extra mile to show the patients you care can go a LONG way!
     
  15. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf

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    I wonder if it is possible to make all patients sign a disclaimer that they cant sue the doctor for more than XXXX amount of YYYY procedure or management of disease ZZZZ.
     
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  17. 3dtp

    3dtp Senior Member
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    Binding arbitration is close, as are statutory caps on "non-economic" damages. Variations on this theme include "pre-certification/screening" of cases which hardly work at all, but does introduce an additional expense to the plaintiff which may discourge the most blatent of frivolous cases, but I'd dare to bet that someone somewhere for some significant price will certify that the hangnail on Aunt Dorothy caused her MI and thus not treating the hangnail was the proximate cause of dear Aunt Dorothy's demise.

    Killing all the lawyers was King Henry's solution to being forced to follow the Magna Carta. No lawyers, and he could do what he wanted with even few checks on his authority. [editorial aside: Sounds like King George II and I voted for the beggar].

    On the ethics of lawyers. loveumms is correct. Completely correct. "...almost anyone thinks they can sue for a bad outcome but, any good medmal lawyer knows this is not the case and will not take the case. Most lawyers have a physician they pay to verify the case and it's merits. They don't want to lose either."

    Herein lies the problem. In this context "good" implies honest and ethical. Yes, good lawyers will turn down a bad outcome med-mal case, but there will always be another, lower down on the sleaze parade that will indeed take it, file it and then run up the defense tab to the point where the insurance company will offer a payout just to keep the legal bills from eating them alive.

    The economics goes very roughly: Plaintiff with bad outcome and no breach of duty files. Initial Costs: couple of hundred bucks or so. Discover and preliminary motions: around a few thousand for the plaintiff. Pre-trial motions for summary judgement (defense only, plaintiff wants to parade dead grandma in front of the jury and the evil doctor who let her die of old age instead of caring properly for her). Summary judgement granted, case dismissed. Plaintiff's lawyer to insurance company, yeah, we lost, but an appeal will cost you $50k to defend and it'll only cost us a couple of hundred to file and prepare and on the outside chance it's reversed. If it is reversed, then we go to trial which will cost the defense around $250k in fees and costs and we might win a verdict, as unlikely as it seems. Do you really want to take the chance in front of the jury that granny's sweet picture and her not so sweet pressure ulcers will make the jury mad enough to overlook the facts?

    Insurer: $50k to argue an appeal, risk of being remanded for trial, risk of trial with potential $1M verdict. How 'bout we offer $25k and settle. After some negotiation, a payout is made, case is closed. Plaintiff's attorney pockets enough to keep the lights on in the office, insurer is out $80k or so and considers itself lucky it hasn't had to pay a lot more, even though all concerned know the claim is trivial. Plaintiff's lawyers roll the dice they can get to a jury and defense attorneys work to reduce the risk it will happen.

    Result: case settles for cheap with everyone knowing the case was frivolous. the doc is dinged with a med-mal claim with a payout and makes the infamous National Practitioner Databank, and now has a claims history which of course will make him a high risk doctor when they renew his policy next year for an annual increase of 10-20% (say $10k/year) for the next 5-8 years.

    Yup, it's a wonderful system we have to work with. Think it doesn't happen this way? How much was the lottery payout that was just awarded? $370M and tickets in NYC were selling at the rate of several million per hour. That's a million bucks an hour in one state alone. (Assuming the tickets are a buck a piece, I don't buy 'em so I don't know for sure).
     
  18. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member

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    "A sure way to help ensure you will not be sued - document, document and then document even more. Cover you butt at every turn and be EMPATHETIC."

    This is it ... there are so much data on this very premise. Basically, documentation and general 'niceness' will prevent you from ever losing a case, and possibly even from being sued. If you show your clinical reasoning for every plan you make and it has evidence behind it, you can't go wrong. Even as a resident, I have to dictate silliness like: "RCTs show that X therapy lowers local recurrence and possibly benefits overall survival; the patient affirmed their understanding of this, but still chose no treatment."

    That being said, 3dtp is right, the economics of it force settlements for frivolous suits, and there is a large absolute number of good doctors taking hits for no apparent reason other than greed from lawyers and angry patients/relatives.

    But, relatively speaking, good doctors with good bedside manners don't get sued often. What hasn't been mentioned is the "80/20 rule". It applies to business, education, basic science, and even med-mal in a variety of ways. For med-mal: essentially 80% of non-frivolous claims are filed against 20% of the physicians (the actual #s are a little more skewed, I think it's actually less than 20% of physicians). The facts show that there is a core group of terrible physicians that are making patients angry, premiums high, and lawyers blood-thirsty. The rules to stay licensed after even gross malpractice are quite lenient (especially if you leave the state), and so the same doctors that make mistakes keep making mistakes. If you ever go to these sites that show which doctors have action taken against them, the ones that have any at all generally have many.

    1. I think punitive damage caps are crucial, but not necessarily fixed total damage caps. I don't like the idea of $30m in punitive damages for a missed lung cancer diagnosis by a radiologist on a 65 yo with a 100 pack year tobacco history, but if you screw up a neurosurgeon's hands you oughtta be responsible for lost wages of more than the $250,000 cap - it's only reasonable. I'd say a determination of wages lost based on potential (using socioeconomic data averages) + up to $250k in punitive damages.

    2. The next step is instead of going to a court, all cases need to be reviewed by a state board (Louisiana has this, and so do a few other states) made up of a few lawyers and a few doctors to see if it is worth going to trial. It's a pretty low-cost set up, and if it doesn't get past the board, the suit dies. It's a great way to weed out frivolity.

    3. I also think all or most fees being paid by the losing lawyers is more than a fair idea. Not sure how this would work, exactly, and I don't know if there is any states/countries doing this yet.

    4. Finally, stricter punishments by medical boards on the bad actors in our field would aid in lowering our premiums, as well.

    5. Maybe one more: mandatory etiquette classes. Nice, polite doctors don't get sued, even when they f--- up ... it's amazing.

    -S
     
  19. dutchman

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    Agreed.
     
  20. Adam_K

    Adam_K Indentured

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    I see your point, but disagree. While I agree that the present risk/reward equation for bringing a lawsuit is well in favor of the plaintiff, due to the possibility of winning a high payoff in front of a lay jury (or alternatively sticking the physician with a settlement prior to trial), my proposal changes the risk/reward equation.

    As there would be far fewer (hopefully none) headline cases of tens of millions of dollars awarded by misinformed jurors, fewer lawyers would take the risk of not hitting the jackpot. Instead of simply resorting to the deep pockets strategy and putting up the victim in front of a sympathetic jury with few real merits, they would need to argue a cogent case based on medicine.

    This already exists in the UK. Essentially, the court costs are borne by the loser. The argument against is that 1) fewer cases with merit would be brought forward, thereby increasing the amount of malpractice overall 2) it does nothing to prevent juries from awarding tens of millions in questionable cases.
     
  21. Gut Shot

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    How about we improve quality control so fewer errors are made? That's what the anesthesiologists did, and it worked for them.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. NinerNiner999

    NinerNiner999 Senior Member

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    We should stop settling. Period. If patients want to sue their doctors, they will need to get in line and wait three + years for their case to see the light of day in court. Then, they will have an unbelievable amount of money they have invested in their lawyer to maybe (very small maybe) make any judgement cost-effective if you win at all. If the patients lose, I believe with the other poster above, they should be responsible for paying court fees, rendering malpractice insurance untouched for the physician.

    Oh, and the constitution provides for a "jury of our peers." If this is the case, why aren't there any physicians on these juries? If a jury member is to adequetely assess our roll as being injurious or not, shouldn't they have a basis to make this decision other than the plaintiff's attorney selling them a story?

    I also agree with the above poster suggesting that documentation and empathy help the physician. However, patients will sue regardless of what is documented, and regardless of how empathetic we are. Some of this helps, but it will not prevent a case from going to trial, which is the real drain on our practice. Being found guilty is trivial compared to the time-consuming, sanity-threatening, guilt-prone existance that physicians must endure while awaiting settlement or trial.

    If we as physicians prohibit settlement and force each suit to trial, it will deter patients and lawyers from bringing suit against us, and may result in lower damages for thoses cases of clear malpractice.
     
  23. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster

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    Unfortunately that is not going to work for OB/GYNs that get their asses handed to them regardless. Don't get suckered into believing this whole lawsuit thing is your fault.
     
  24. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf

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    A medical board of lawyers and physicians to review all cases I think should happen... as well as pain+suffering caps... but most of all I would like to see physicians able to ask the patient to sign a maximum cap on lawsuit award form.

    Documenting might save your ass, but if a patient comes in pissed at the world and didnt like that you are black/female/indian/asian or didnt even like the fact that your tie looks good they feel they are able to push for a lawsuit. I still remember the OBGYN in one c-section, just when she was about to do the first incision, knife in mid air, the lady's mom which was sitting next to her head said out loud "If anything happens to my daughter I am gonna sue your asses off." The OBGYN froze for a second before continuing as if nothing happened.

    The message needs to come across that lawsuits are not the answer to all their problems.
     
  25. Gut Shot

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    Thanks, but your concern isn't necessary.
     
  26. veo1

    veo1 Junior Member

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    Awesome story. This is just a glimpse of how bad things are these days. I was on a frozen section last summer and overheard one of the gyn attendings talking about a case he's defending now that was brought about by an uninsured patient who had a stillborn child (it was a high risk pregnancy on top of that). Btw, Why are ppl still going into OB/GYN?
     
  27. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster

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    You are welcome. One more thing; when you are get hit with a meritless lawsuit, make sure you remind the plaintiff's lawyer that it was your failure to employ good quality control that landed you in the situation.
     
  28. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster

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    I have asked this question many times. I am still curious.
     
  29. Gut Shot

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    Actually, in my profession (pathology), poor quality control is by far the #1 source of lawsuits (meritless or otherwise).

    In other words, bite me.
     
  30. dutchman

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    You also have to consider that there are some specialties(like EM, OB/GYN) that are high risk just by the very nature of the job(quick pace and risky procedures). These guys are falling easy prey to blood thirsty lawyers. Having lived in two different countries, I can assure you that the civil justice system here(especially in medicine) is very awkward, and if you guys are hell bent on mimicking the healthcare system of those countries, you might want to look at some serious tort reform.
     
  31. Gut Shot

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    Look, sirius asked for ways to reduce the amount of litigation, and I had this clearly insane idea that reducing the number of errors might reduce the amount of litigation. That's all. No comprehensive multi-specialty analysis was intended, and none will be forthcoming. You guys can continue the circle jerk without me.
     
  32. dutchman

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    I don't know why you are upset. I was just trying to point out that there is a whole lot more than avoidable medical errors in play here. There is a culture of intimidation by litigation going on in medicine, which is harming the system IMO. There needs to be a change. Reducing medical errors will definitely help but we need to look at the whole picture too.
     
  33. NinerNiner999

    NinerNiner999 Senior Member

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    I'm not sure why Gut Shot is so upset, but I do agree that reducing medical errors in most specialties is a good way to start. However, as mentioned in fields such as EM and OB/GYN there are several SYSTEMS-related factors that contribute to medical errors, and many of these are the result of patient volume and physician fatigue.

    Therein lies the catch-22 plaguing medicine today - there are too many patients at too high a volume to be seen, there are too few physicians in critical fields to keep up with demand, patients get hurt/angry/upset and sue, and fewer people want to enter the fields that are needed most. And the cycle continues...
     
  34. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away
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    Either medicine is a right or a commodity? I tend to argue the later, but I'll make points for both here for the sake of argument.

    Medicine is a right- Doctors who have an obligation to see every patient cannot create their own risk and thus shouldn't be held responisble for the consequences of undesired risk. The guy who walks into the ED with "abdominal pain" and screams that anything less than his desired narc dose will result in a lawsuit has to be seen, but he shouldn't be able to bring the suit. Much like we can't sue individual firemen or policemen acting in the line of duty, we shouldn't be able to sue doctors. Sovereign immunity. The licensing board determines if any discipline is necessary.

    Medicine is a commodity- People can sue, but doctors can determine their own risk. Patients who are high risk can be made to sign binding disclaimers that their high risk case may result in a bad outcome. Doctors can choose NOT to see patients who have sued in the past.

    Things like EMTALA put all of the risk on the doctor. You have to see the patient as though it is a right, but you carry the liability associated with a commodity. It's got to be one or the other. If I have to see him against my will, he shouldn't be able to sue me.
     
  35. 3dtp

    3dtp Senior Member
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    Thanks, my friend. The key here is the "angry relative" of the recently departed who died of progressive lung cancer 3 years after you treated them with a local recurrence. They never met you, nor experienced your care, compassion and empathy, and so to them you are a target. You quoted the studies in your note, but the dear departed died anyway, so therefore you must have done something wrong, you said it would help in your note and it didn't and we have a hired gun to certify the complaint to the board. "Jurors, the doctor told my client that this treatment would help, the doctor wrote it right here in his note, my client took the treatment at enormous expense and severe side effects and died anyway. It didn't help, it did help kill my client, so give us the money."

    I'd hardly say they are lenient. It is incredibly difficult to get licensed in the first place. There is a huge amount of pressure on the board to "show that they're doing something to protect the public." The typical OB can count on being sued repeatedly, especially if they practice any high risk OB, or if they practice in a low SES population area. High-risk is defined as any patient who walks into your triage facility when you are on call that you haven't met. Same with neurosurgeons. Anything that is less than a perfect outcome is fair game. The bench at the bus stop outside our hospital has the ad painted on it, 1-800-LAW-SUIT. Now why would this tacky lawyer pay to have that ad painted on a bus stop bench? Clients and results. If you are sued, even once, and the case is dismissed, you now have to tell every medical license board about it, in detail, with copies of the complaint, the judgement and everything else.

    And if there's a dime paid on your behalf, even to settle a frivolous lawsuit, it'll earn you a place in the National Practioner's Databank rogues gallery which will then make the hospitals' credentialling boards think twice about whether they want you on staff.

    Administrators who have never been in the trenches who believe "documentation and general 'niceness' will prevent you from ever losing a case, and possibly even from being sued," and "Maybe one more: mandatory etiquette classes. Nice, polite doctors don't get sued, even when they f--- up ... it's amazing." will think you are uncompassionate, unempathetic or even not competent enough to be on their staff. Credentialling committees do not ask whether the suit was paid, they ask if one happened. And nice polite doctors do get sued. Regularly.

    The caps are generally on "non-economic damages." Most states do not allow "punitive" damages under any circumstances. That's why the "emotional distress" charges are embedded in any complaint. To get around this limitation. On the other hand, the neurosurgeon did suffer an economic damage if you messed up his hands and that comes under the economic loss provisions and lost wages are compensable, so you don't need anything more.



    It's a possibility in some states. The biggest problem I have with this is that unless the suit is clearly an attempt to extort money (ie frivolous), this might limit access to the system from someone who is clearly injured due to a bad act. I'd rather not do this, but I do agree that it should be possible for a judge to sanction a lawyer for bringing a bad lawsuit.

    I got out.
     
  36. 3dtp

    3dtp Senior Member
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    The following is from a report issued by HHS advocating for medical liability reform. I think this was produced in 2004 or so at the request of the President. I'll see if I can find the full reference for it.
    -------

    The results are as arbitrary for patients as they are for providers. When
    there are recoveries, they often are based on sympathy, attractiveness of the
    plaintiff, and the plaintiff’s socio-economic status (educated, attractive patients
    recover more than others).79

    One prominent personal injury trial lawyer explained the secret of his
    success: “The appearance of the plaintiff [is] number one in attempting to
    evaluate a lawsuit because I think that a good healthy-appearing type, one who
    would be likeable and one that the jury is going to want to do something for, can
    make your case worth double at least for what it would be otherwise and a badappearing
    plaintiff could make the case worth perhaps half…”80

    Only a small number of claimants achieve the large judgment for noneconomic
    losses. A winning lottery ticket in litigation, moreover, is not as
    attractive as it may seem at first blush. A plaintiff who wins a judgment must pay
    the lawyer 30-40% of it, and sometimes even more. Lawyers, therefore, have an
    interest in finding the most attractive case. They develop a portfolio of cases and
    have an incentive to gamble on a big “win.” If only one case results in a huge
    verdict, they have had a good payday. Thus, they have incentives to pursue
    selected cases to the end in the hope of winning the lottery, even when their
    client would be satisfied by a settlement that would make them whole
    economically. The result of the contingency fee arrangement is that lawyers
    have few incentives to take on the more difficult cases or those of less attractive
    patients.

    For most injured patients, therefore, the litigation process, while offering the
    remote chance of a jackpot judgment, provides little real benefit, even for those
    who file claims and pursue them. Even successful claimants do not recover
    anything on average until five years after the injury, longer if the case goes to
    trial.81
    Page 15
     
  37. DebDynamite

    DebDynamite Attending

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    Maybe we can figure out how to sue the trial attorney that sues the doctor- -counter offensive (especially if it's a frivolous case). I have fantasies about this, and I'm not even out of med school yet.

    I also fantasize about suing the hospitals that allow the residents to care for the American public on 0 hours sleep. But that's another thread entirely...
     
  38. Stimulate

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    The contingency fee system is a huge incentive for attorneys and I believe the US is one of the only countries that allows such a system. Because of this huge incentive we are bombarded with all of their TV commercials...one big case and all those commercials are paid. And some of the cases are no-brainer negligence and some of the cases are total bullshi*t, either way they pretty much get paid.

    So one huge step to reforming the system would be making the attorneys keep track of their actual TIME invested into each case and have hourly fee structures for reimbursement of that time. This type of system is already being used to compensate public defenders (they get reimbursed a set hourly rate by the state/county). Attorneys will quickly leave malpractice law and go into other areas like personal injury/auto accidents which won't have the fee limits. This will also put more money into the patient's pockets which if they truly were the victims of negligence would be better for them as well. They would have more funds to pay their living expenses, etc.
     
  39. GuzzyRon

    GuzzyRon Son of the Son of Man

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    These arguments don't make a lot of sense.

    1. False logic. The fact that fewer number of cases are brought forward doesn't necessarily lead to an increase in the amount of malpractice overall.

    2. Agreed but it does lead to a drastic reduction in the number of frivolous cases brought forward and hence, the frequency and number of large jury awards
     
  40. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster

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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12723303/

    "About 40 percent of the medical malpractice cases filed in the United States are groundless"

    "...Many of the lawsuits analyzed contained no evidence that a medical error was committed or that the patient suffered any injury, the researchers reported."

    "..However, groundless lawsuits still accounted for 15 percent of the money paid out in settlements or verdicts."
     
  41. nolagas

    nolagas Member

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    No Fault Compensation

    Gives help to people who need it whether the doctor is liable or not.
    No one (patients or scumbag lawyers) gets rich through litigation.
    It'd be much better to take the money from lawsuits, high insurance costs, lawyers fees and direct all those negative costs into actually helping injured people through a system of no fault compensation.

    I'd be hard to push this through politically though since trial lawyers own the democratic party. I'm not sure why it didn't go through while the republicans, who are owned by insurance and pharmaceutical companies, were in charge. It's by far the best way out of this mess though if people cared at all about the common good instead of their own greed.
     
  42. Gut Shot

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    Alas, the study is actually more complex than your selective quoting acknowledges. To illustrate this, I'll do some selective quoting from the Harvard School of Public Health press release on the same study:

    From "Study Casts Doubt on Claims That the Medical Malpractice System Is Plagued By Frivolous Lawsuits"

    Have you considered a career in the evening news?
     
  43. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned
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    Judges already have that power, but they almost NEVER use it. Judges give tremendous leeway to lawyers to file whatever BS they want. Unless the judge finds an internal memo written by the lawyer stating "this is a bogus case with no merit but i'm gonna extort some insurance company anyways" then they will not issue sanctions.
     
  44. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned
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    The real problem with lawsuits is not lawyers, its DOCTORS.

    Its time to start kicking these scabs out of the profession. They are the ones selling us out, handing us on a silver platter to the lawyers.

    "Expert" witnesses make 10 times more money testifying in court than tehy do practicing medicine. Its an enormous incentive to make up BS to the jury.

    We need to have a cap on expert witness fees and each expert's testimony should be reviewed by the respective specialty boards.
     

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