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Thread: Obama-Care based on inaccuracies

  1. #21
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    I didn't see that it was an ambulance company in the original post.
    In Pennsylvania, 90% of malpractice cases going to adjudication are found in favor of the phyisicain. Doctors and their insurers usually admit and made amends when a true mistake is made. If a doctor was wrong or 90% of his patients died, how long would the state allow him/her to keep their license??

    Not all bad outcomes are the result of malpractice. Most are due to disease processes, trauma, or poor health choices.

    On a somewhat related note, I find it amazing that juries STILL find in favor of plaintiffs in tobacco related illnesses! Older folks, veterans who got cigs in their field rations (courtesy of tobacco companies and the military) are one thing. Someone who began smoking in the modern era of warnings on the cigarette packs is another. At what point are people responsible for their own decisions?
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

  2. #22
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    It was medical malpractice because the ambulance company was providing a medical service paid through health insurance. The defendant ws a company, not a doctor.

    Thanks for the clarification on the transporter's identity, as to why it was classified as medical malpractice. Not a good performance by either the ambulance company or the insuror.

    Again, I don't think anyone wants to see true malpractice or negligence go without penalty when penalty is merited.

    Been there, done that on frivolous lawsuits. In my case it was a wrongful termination suit with violation of "liberty" rights and due process with a personal potential liability of $1 million. The case lasted five years, ending with a jury trial. In that case the judge posed more than 50 questions to the jury with respect to the facts and in every case the jury found in my favor. In this case the plaintiff had actually been ordered to pay legal costs of an employer when she had filed a similarly frivolous employment suit ten years earlier. We were not allowed to introduce that into evidence because it was deemed prejudicial and not germane. In that case the judge wrote that in his entire career he had never witnessed a more perjurious individual or a more abusive use of the courts.
    In this latter instance, is the perfect reason why tort reforms are needed; not just for medical malpractice, but covering a much greater spectrum of abuse as well.

    Now, I also wonder if the attorney who took the second case for this woman has done this before. I also wonder what the chances are that the woman ever paid for those court costs.

    In the case I was involved in, we were told that in PA legal expenses are paid by each party. "Court costs" may be separately defined.

    In the settlement I was involved with, the judge deftly structured the settlement so that the complainant paid a higher purchase price for the property than originally contracted, essentially covering the legal expense incurred by the defendant. The E&O attorney, who deals in real estate law statewide, said it was unheard of for the purchaser to end up paying *more* for the property than originally in the contract. However, the defendant still lost $. They could have received an even higher price, 18 mos. sooner, (from another buyer) if the lawsuit had not been filed.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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  3. #23
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    In this latter instance, is the perfect reason why tort reforms are needed; not just for medical malpractice, but covering a much greater spectrum of abuse as well.

    Now, I also wonder if the attorney who took the second case for this woman has done this before. I also wonder what the chances are that the woman ever paid for those court costs.

    In the case I was involved in, we were told that in PA legal expenses are paid by each party. "Court costs" may be separately defined.

    In the settlement I was involved with, the judge deftly structured the settlement so that the complainant paid a higher purchase price for the property than originally contracted, essentially covering the legal expense incurred by the defendant. The E&O attorney, who deals in real estate law statewide, said it was unheard of for the purchaser to end up paying *more* for the property than originally in the contract. However, the defendant still lost $. They could have received an even higher price, 18 mos. sooner, (from another buyer) if the lawsuit had not been filed.
    I'm no lawyer, but this is getting into legal semantics. Non-physicians can be tagged for practicing w/o a medical license, but only licensed physicians can be tagged with medial malpractice. An ambulance company or crew does not hold a license to practice medicine, and therefore cannot be sued for malpractice. If there's a medical director of the ambulance company, he may be liable if there was direct patient care, or a duty to treat established.
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

  4. #24
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    In this latter instance, is the perfect reason why tort reforms are needed; not just for medical malpractice, but covering a much greater spectrum of abuse as well.

    Now, I also wonder if the attorney who took the second case for this woman has done this before. I also wonder what the chances are that the woman ever paid for those court costs.

    In the case I was involved in, we were told that in PA legal expenses are paid by each party. "Court costs" may be separately defined.

    In the settlement I was involved with, the judge deftly structured the settlement so that the complainant paid a higher purchase price for the property than originally contracted, essentially covering the legal expense incurred by the defendant. The E&O attorney, who deals in real estate law statewide, said it was unheard of for the purchaser to end up paying *more* for the property than originally in the contract. However, the defendant still lost $. They could have received an even higher price, 18 mos. sooner, (from another buyer) if the lawsuit had not been filed.
    The case I was involved with was both a labor law case and a civil rights case. It was in NYC and had fairly high political visibility. The plaintiff had four attorneys working on a pro bono basis. The whole situation was fascinating from a political and legal perspective (less so if your own house was on the line), but not germane to this thread except as an example of what can happen when the legal system is abused.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    I don't think that anyone would be against removing all tort options for people, but there is surely a need for laws to prevent frivolous suits.

    In the real world, defending oneself against even a frivolous suit is so costly, that the defendant just "settles". The attorneys have to be the worst at policing their own in the matter of frivolous lawsuits. Even though Pennsylvania has such a law, it doesn't get used much because of the cost of pursuing such a suit.

    That may be more of a "guess" than fact. Until the attorneys are penalized directly for bringing the frivolous suits, they will continue to throw their hats in the ring ... they have nothing to lose.

    Was involved in my first and only real estate suit a couple of years ago. Generated about $60,000+ in legal fees. End result: the complainant was dead wrong. Took a year and a half to get in front of a judge. The judge saw the truth very quickly. There was a "settlement". The compainant's attorney actually made the legal error himself! He collected about $25,000 of those fees. Cost the complainant total $40,000 or more for his attorney's error. Unconscionable!
    Gerry,
    Several states have implemented serious tort reform regarding medical malpractice. Can you please point to any of these states where it has resulted in an appreciable deceleration in health care costs? As far as I can tell the experiment has been done and it has had little effect. It is a red herring in the grand scheme of things. Malpractice insurance currently is about 2% of health care costs. A rounding error compared to drug company and insurance company profits.

  6. #26
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry V View Post
    Gerry,
    Several states have implemented serious tort reform regarding medical malpractice. Can you please point to any of these states where it has resulted in an appreciable deceleration in health care costs? As far as I can tell the experiment has been done and it has had little effect. It is a red herring in the grand scheme of things. Malpractice insurance currently is about 2% of health care costs. A rounding error compared to drug company and insurance company profits.
    That is what the trial lawyers put out, and want to believe. As someone who orders tests on a CYA basis, I can tell you it's MUCH more than 2%!

    And those are just direct care costs. Like I pointed out before, that does not include physicians' and administrators' time spent in depositions, planning committees, etc....all for defensive practices.

    The practice guidelines for trauma imaging is changing as we speak. It is evolving to the point where ANYONE coming into a trauma bay will be "pan-scanned", meaning CT scans of the head, c-spine, chest, abdomen, and pelvis, so as to not miss even a clinically insignificant injury, leading to a lawsuit. (ie a cracked rib, that anyone who's played high-school football has probably had, and requires no treatment....but if not diagnosed, seems to be worth tens of thousands of dollars!)

    States where tort reform has occured HAVE seen a decrease in malpractice premiums for physicains. It has also allowed insurance companies to start writing new policies, where before they did not. It has also resulted in a small, but significant increase in the number of physicians retained in state after training. Not a big deal, unless you can't find a doctor taking new patients I suppose.

    No tort reform that I'm aware of has sought to reduce payment to injured parties. It is to reduce non-economic damages that have no limit currently in many states.

    Someone who eats twinkies and Dr. Peppers all day long, then sues their doctor because their pannus doesn't hide their gall-bladder scar to their liking after surgery is what needs to be curtailed.
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

  7. #27
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry V View Post
    Gerry,
    Several states have implemented serious tort reform regarding medical malpractice. Can you please point to any of these states where it has resulted in an appreciable deceleration in health care costs? As far as I can tell the experiment has been done and it has had little effect. It is a red herring in the grand scheme of things. Malpractice insurance currently is about 2% of health care costs. A rounding error compared to drug company and insurance company profits.
    PA is one of the states that has a law that an attorney who files a "frivolous" suit can be sued himself for this kind of abuse. But it does not surprise me that the law's impact has been negilgible

    However, you better have the $ if you want to sue him. I discussed this with the E&O (Errors & Omissions) attorney representing the insurance company that provided the E&O insurance. He mentioned the law to the complainant's attorney, but admitted to me that the likelihood of such a suit resulting was negligible.

    The insurance companies are unwilling to dump more money into a case such as that even though, IMHO, it would send a message to attorneys who think they have nothing to lose by filing these frivolous suits.

    The law exists in PA but the logistics and finances needed to make the law serve its intended purpose seems to preclude it being meaningful. That being said, it would make more sense for the judges in such cases (since they have heard all the testimony & seen all the depositions) to cite the attorneys, & at least assess a fine to them. OTOH, judges are attorneys as well ... and must continue to work in their judicial districts.

    The question remains how to create meaningful tort reform to preclude frivolous litigation.

    Jeff mentions that his complainant's attorneys were working pro bono. However, if a large settlement had been received, I'm sure they would have gotten a piece of the pie.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

  8. #28
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    PA is one of the states that has a law that an attorney who files a "frivolous" suit can be sued himself for this kind of abuse. But it does not surprise me that the law's impact has been negilgible

    However, you better have the $ if you want to sue him. I discussed this with the E&O (Errors & Omissions) attorney representing the insurance company that provided the E&O insurance. He mentioned the law to the complainant's attorney, but admitted to me that the likelihood of such a suit resulting was negligible.

    The insurance companies are unwilling to dump more money into a case such as that even though, IMHO, it would send a message to attorneys who think they have nothing to lose by filing these frivolous suits.

    The law exists in PA but the logistics and finances needed to make the law serve its intended purpose seems to preclude it being meaningful. That being said, it would make more sense for the judges in such cases (since they have heard all the testimony & seen all the depositions) to cite the attorneys, & at least assess a fine to them. OTOH, judges are attorneys as well ... and must continue to work in their judicial districts.

    The question remains how to create meaningful tort reform to preclude frivolous litigation.

    Jeff mentions that his complainant's attorneys were working pro bono. However, if a large settlement had been received, I'm sure they would have gotten a piece of the pie.
    There was a case in W. Virginia where a surgeon was erroneously involved in a case, and the attorney refused to drop him. He refused to settle, as he never even saw the patient-plaintiff. It took him 12 years and over $100,000 to successfully acquit himself and counter sue the attorney for malicious prosecution. It took him two years to find an attorney willing to take his case, as it would not likely result in large monetery rewards. He did ultimately prevail, but admitted himself, it was not for the weak of heart.

    The hospital system I work for has a very good approach to risk management, that I wish would become a model for the country. Our system hired two of the best malpractice attorneys in town to be on our team. We have a RM team that assesses all cases, and offers compensation that is reasonable to appropriate parties. It comes with a letter explaining that they will get fair compensation, NOW. If they have a frivilous claim, their attorney is sent a letter from our legal dept stating as a policy, we do NOT settle ANY case out of court that we feel is defensible. In other words, we're shootin straight from the hip, and playing fair...but no Bull%h!t!

    We pay honestly for honest mistakes, deal with substandard care in house (and it is very, very rare, given the credentialling process) and are basically left alone from frivilous crap.
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

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