Saturday, April 03, 2004

The Myth of Frivolous Medical Malpractice Cases

I received an email from Richard C. Miller of the Monsees, Miller, Mayer, Presley & Amick law firm concerning the issue of tort reform. He provided a clear explanation of what the real story is surrounding medical malpractice cases.

"Tort 'reform' is having an effect. For instance, we used to say we did med mal cases, now we generally do not, although that is not set in stone. Perhaps the numbers are a better explanation. We used to take about 1 in 25 potential med mal cases, then it went to 1 in 50, now the only time we take them is if it is almost a perfect case. We are not alone - the number of people who do med mal has diminished, as has the number of cases filed. The economics of the practice dictate this result: minimum of $50,000 cash investment on our part; little chance of settlement since the doctors/hospitals control this decision and are risking little of their own money; a win rate at trial that is less than 30% (one of the lowest in plaintiff's cases); and high expectations on the client's part because they have been told that multi-million dollar verdicts are common, which we know could not be further from the truth and the jurors come in with the goal of making sure of that. Consequently, a lot of people who have experienced clear malpractice, but without damages huge enough to justify all the risk of taking the case never get a chance at justice. The number of people who cannot find an attorney in this area has gone up drastically, as has the frustration level of the people I talk to - remember, we are the ones who see the consequences of malpractice and hear the complaints of those who cannot find a lawyer (I average 1-2 declines a week). Access to justice in this country is diminishing, not increasing. Any further reduction in the tort rights of people only closes the courthouse to more people."

The next time you get one of those foolish "Stella Award" emails detailing outrageous lawsuits, please understand that they are not true. Those cases simply do not exist in the real world - they are made up by somebody trying to convince the American people to give up their access to a jury of their peers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


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Two days later I was BLIND

Use Google and enter EPOCRATES MXIDEX to verify

6/05/2008 3:25 PM  

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