Sunday, February 27, 2005

Debate arrives here

Good to see debate on both sides of the argument:

DDL talks about how the three strikes law benefits lawyers:

"Plaintiff Trial lawyers don't like trials. That's right. Why? because they lose most of them. What they do like is the unpredictibility of a trial. Sure they will lose most of them but they could win and win big. That makes defendants want to settle. Settlements are good. A lawyer is sure to get his paycheck in a settlement, but in a trial they will most likely have to eat their court costs.Three strikes law will encourage settlements. If you are a doctor getting sued do you want to risk losing your license? of course not. you settle. This will increase the numbers of malpractice suits filed in Florida. "


An anonymous user rebuts :

"Of course, the big difference between ddl's argument and mine is that if malpractice goes away, lawyers can always make money sueing tobacco companies. What are doctors going to do if lung disease, heart disease and obesity go away? Golf all the time?

The fact is that if you believe the insurance industry argument that medical malpractice claims are driving up medical malpractice insurance rates (a questionable argument), than it makes good sense to get the handful of doctors who are responsible for the vast majority of malpractice out of the risk pool. Here in Illinois, 3.6% of docs are responsible for 47% of malpractice cases, according to federal records."

15 comments:

DDL said...

If there were no lung disease, heart disease and obesity, doctors would still deliver your babies. Treat and cure the constant evolution of diseases that are out to kill you.

The correct analogy you should have brought up is if doctors had a magic wand and can make malpractice disappear. Would they? Without hesitation.

You cited a common "statistical lie" from lawyers that a small percentage of doctors are responsible for half the malpractice costs.
1. the 3.6% is not uniformly distributed among all doctors. Its skewed towards the specialties like ob and surgery where damages tend to be high because of the types of injuries sustained. let me give you an extreme example. If 3.6% of doctors are obgyns's and all ob/gyns are sued. Does that mean that all the obs are incompetant? In florida all ob gyns get sued.

Why do you think insurance companies charge obgyns $250k and allergists $5k for malpractice coverage? If an incompetant, drunk, drug using doctor makes you sneeze and you want to sue him your lawyer will tell you to get lost because there's no money in to to recover. But if your baby gets born with cerebral palsy under the care of a highly skilled and highly trained obgyn. You will need a large stick to beat back the number of lawyers knocking at your door. Why? Those cases net tens of millions.

2. You also wrote: If "three strikes you're out" is a good policy to protect us from felons, it makes sense to apply the same standard to quacks who endanger the public with their negligence.

Here's a newsflash for you. Assuming you are a lawyer and have studied this in school. A felon who loses three CRIMINAL cases are proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. a doctor who loses three malpractice CIVIL cases are guilty based on preponderance of evidence. 50.01% vs reasonable doubt. You are right, we should apply the same standards to doctors as felons. We should change the burden of proof in medical malpractice cases to beyond reasonable doubt. If lawyers are willing to do that, I think doctors would be more than happy to drop their demand for a cap on awards or fees.

Sherry said...

First, let me preface that after reading this entry, I am outraged. Not only in the lack of informed input, but sorely lacking facts and attitudes.
I am a medical malpractice victim, and you Sir, are woefully misinformed.

"DDL said...
If there were no lung disease, heart disease and obesity, doctors would still deliver your babies. Treat and cure the constant evolution of diseases that are out to kill you."

Idealistic, not realistic.
It is only in recent history women even sought a doctor for childbirth.
Gone are the days, where doctors are placed on a pedestal and 'all-knowing' and true of what the average person believes of the medical profession. There are horrid doctors just as there are horrid persons in any profession. The difference? Doctors by virtue of their calling are trusted, and have power over life and death decisions. And also gone are the days, where the Hippocratic oath is seared into the morality and ethics of ALL physicians.

"The correct analogy you should have brought up is if doctors had a magic wand and can make malpractice disappear. Would they? Without hesitation. "

Wanna Bet???
Again, not ALL doctors are good, nor do they have the patients best interest in mind.
(some of the most grievous med mal cases come to mind)

"
You cited a common "statistical lie" from lawyers that a small percentage of doctors are responsible for half the malpractice costs.
1. the 3.6% is not uniformly distributed among all doctors. Its skewed toward the specialties like ob and surgery where damages tend to be high because of the types of injuries sustained."

Again, check you facts. These statistics are not incorrect.
You also fore go stating such factors as high risk and probability. Second, you neglect the fact that the med. mal insurance companies arbitrary raise physicians rates, as well as setting up their 'litigious zones" ( again blaming the victim, not the negligent physician) The insurance lobby has even stated in many a document and in federal congress, their rate hikes are due to 'less than projected profits from their investments.'

"If 3.6% of doctors are obgyns's and all ob/gyns are sued. Does that mean that all the obs are incompetent? In florida all ob gyns get sued."

Not according to the public records nor any statistic on ALL Fl. ob/gyns being sued. And your equation on the 3.6 % is woefully flawed.
Not only that, you sir, need to do a bit of homework, on how very often actual med mal cases do get filed, and how often or what the requirements are for an attorney to even file a med mal case..much less win.

"Why do you think insurance companies charge obgyns $250k and allergists $5k for malpractice coverage? "
No brainer..see above.

" But if your baby gets born with cerebral palsy under the care of a highly skilled and highly trained obgyn. You will need a large stick to beat back the number of lawyers knocking at your door. Why? Those cases net tens of millions. "

Again, NO!
For one, an actual recovery is not the same as what a jury may award.
Jury can say 10 million (gee, maybe they have the FACTS of a case and know better than your spew?) However, not only does the plaintiff only get what the insured is covered for, medical expenses incurred get compensated first.
So if the Ob/gyn is insured for ONE mill..and say my medical expenses incurred because of the doctors Negligence is over one mill.. who pays the rest?
(rhetorical, as I know..been there )

"A felon who loses three CRIMINAL cases are proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt. a doctor who loses three malpractice CIVIL cases are guilty based on preponderance of evidence. 50.01% vs reasonable doubt"

Again, you know not of what you speak.
Matter of fact, just the opposite is true. There is reason why in actuality med mal cases that make it to court, statically side with the doctor. The 'proof' comes from the victim, facing falsified records, expert witnesses who do not want to testify against their own..the list is too lengthy. However, again..you couldn't be more wrong. The physicians (insurance lawyers) do very well in victimizing the victim, and even the ideal of truth and honor from physicians even in court, is long gone.
The burden of proof falls solely on the victim as it is now, thus, when a case is won, or even filed for that matter, you can bet theres some major smoke on that fire.
On the drug using drunken doctors, you would be surprised at how very common it is. However, since the medical boards are left to police themselves, and no public access or even victim input..they will be allowed to continue behind their wall of silence.

Sherry Keller

Sherry said...

And of second note,
Ca was the first to institute cap laws in the 70's. ( *250k ) However, the med mal insurance rates continued (a proved cycle) until they passed Prop. 103. Insurance reform.
It is insurance reform that works, not tort reform.
As well as, I find it horrid in the arguments stated in this site, it is a continued volley about lawyers vs doctors. How short sited.
Behind every med mal case is an injured person, or death. With caps, the only thing denied is a persons constitutional right to their day in court.
All for the sake of lining the insurance companies profit margins even more.
It does not alleviate the doctor's burdens, only denies rights. And places a dollar amount on the value of a human being.
And no equally at that. One instance of med mal if happened to say a professional athlete would /could be deemed worth millions. However, with a cap, the exact same injury to a child, would never be able to even file a case.
And THATS what it is REALLY about. Escaping accountability as well as the the insurance companies knowing full well this fact.

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