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What do you think of tort reform and hungry trial lawyers?

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by 277768, Sep 17, 2009.

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  1. 277768

    277768 Lifetime Donor

    Aug 3, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    What are your views on tort reform? Should we have a cap? If so on punitive damages?

    horror stories I've heard of....

    1. A harvard educated pediatrician sued for 22 million, they took his house all his and his wife's assets and garnished his wages...

    2. Some OB/GYN doctors and neonatologists in states without tort reform have malpractice premiums = to their salaries ?!

    3. Surgeons in Las Vegas revolted, LEFT the state. The state's only level 1 trauma center in Las vegas has no orthopaedic or general surgeons, and in an emergency effort passed a tort reform damages cap.

    My state, California, has tort reform of 250k for punitive damages (I think?!)...what do you think of tort reform?

    Do hungry trial lawyers make you queasy?
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  3. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom Banned 10+ Year Member

    I think it's pretty obvious what everyone's position on this subject is. Go to studentJD.com, and I'm sure you'll get the exact polar opposite responses.
  4. meister

    meister Senior Member Gold Donor 10+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    Have a buffer consisting of an accountable medical review team made up of physicians, with at least one member of the same specialty as the defendent. If it gets the ok to move forward by that body, then it shall go to trial.

    There is no reason for arbitrary monetary limits. Both sides of the "tort reform" issue are stuck in ideological camps based on nothing but party loyalty and sound-bites. The current system is broken, but the GOP solution of hard caps is overly beneficial to physicians and would protect horrible physicians who deserve to have their pants sued off.

    In a perfect world the entirety of torts would be redone. Attorneys would be legally barred from actively soliciting clients via television or radio advertisements (this practice is horribly unethical). In addition, there would be criminal penalties for many things that currently have only civil penalties. This would generally be applied to executives at large corporations who at this very moment consider civil penalties as part of their bottom line and will do illegal things if the amount of money they will make exceeds the probable civil penalty as calculated by thousands of actuaries and in-house staff attorneys.

    I would couple this with medical review boards to reduce superfluous malpractice suits, and I would also heavily regulate the entire insurance marketplace.

    But none of this well ever happen so I'm forced to fantasize I live in a country that tries to figure out good policy rather than good policy for special interests.
  5. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh! 10+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2006
    Living in America
    Likely urban legend. They can't take your house, nor can they garnish your wages if you file bankruptcy (bankruptcy laws vary by state, but I have yet to hear of a state where you can lose your primary residence in bankruptcy.) Assuming the judgement was above his/her policy limits, if the doctor was too proud to file bankruptcy after being slapped with a multimillion dollar judgement, that wasn't very smart.....
    Maybe so.
    IIRC, I believe this was also because of a dearth of malpractice insurance providers in that state -- I believe that there might've been only a single provider at that time (that jacked up rates, causing a lot of doctors to move to CA, which has more favorable tort legislation and more insurance providers (the two may be causally linked.) Let this be as much of a lesson that a single insurance provider is a bad thing.

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