Medical Malpractice Lawyers Keep Debunking Tort Reform Myths!

new jersey philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers debunking tort reform myths A key issue in the tort reform debate involves “defensive medicine.” Supporters of medical malpractice litigation reform claim that “defensive medicine,” usually in the form unnecessary and preemptive testing, is largely due to a widespread physician fear of lawsuits. They claim that these tests drive up the costs of health care, and that reducing a doctor’s chances of being sued would simultaneously reduce the occurrences of defensive medicine, and thus reduce the costs of health care. However, a recent study performed out of the University of Iowa and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted to public health) found that in states where tort reform legislation was passed, defensive medicine is still being practiced and doctors are still just as fearful of being sued.

Study Finds that Tort Reform Allegations are Simply Propoganda

Researchers achieved their results by ranking lawsuit risk on a state-by-state basis by the amount of claims actually paid by medical malpractice insurance companies. Research found that doctors who practiced in low-risk states (states that have passed their own tort reform legislation) had essentially the same amount of anxiety about being sued as doctors in high risk states (states that have not passed any type of malpractice reform). Defensive medicine is still being practiced, and therefore tort reform did not lower health care costs. The study stated:

“Overall, the study suggests that current tort reform efforts aimed at reducing malpractice risk would be relatively ineffective in alleviating physicians’ concern about lawsuits and therefore may not alter defensive medicine practices.”

Tort Reformists Ignoring Real Issue

What is alarming is that recent studies have shown that medical malpractice is not decreasing, despite defensive medicine and other efforts. A study of 10 North Carolina hospitals published in the New England Journal of Medicine (read our blog regarding this study) assessed 2,300 random patient files. Of those 2,300 patients, 39%endured some sort of medical error or patient harm. Seventeen errors resulted in permanent injury, and fourteen resulted in death.

It seems that more time and effort should be spent on correcting the horrid rate of medical errors, rather than saving HMO’s and negligent medical providers money. While tort reformists and insurance lobbyists push to limit liability and cap damages for injured patients, doctors and hospitals continue to harm patients at an unacceptable rate. It looks like priorities in this matter have been seriously skewed.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you or a loved one have suffered at the hands of a negligent medical provider, please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Let the team at the Mininno Law Office earn you the compensation you need and deserve.

Tort Reform Strikes Again, This Time in Wisconsin

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Senate passed new tort reform measures that have opponents (patients, patient advocates, medical malpractice lawyers, consumer advocacy groups) “up in arms.” The bill, which is now headed to the Assembly, could severely limit liability to medical providers who commit medical malpractice in hospitals and nursing homes.

Tort Reform Hurts Patients

new jersey philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys Tort Reform Strikes Again WisconsinThe business community is thrilled by the bill the Senate passed this week. Of course they are; the new measures make it harder to get sued! Patient advocates, however, view the bill as a shield for medical providers who injure or abuse in nursing homes, or who practice careless, dangerous, and sub-standard medicine.

Provisions of the bill include:

  • Limiting non-economic damages. These damages include payment for loss of companionship, mental distress, or pain and suffering, among others. Payment would max at $750,000 for medical malpractice cases in nursing homes. The $750,000 cap is already in place for medical malpractice cases in hospitals or private practices.
  • Limiting punitive (punishment) damages. Punitive damages would be reduced to $200,000, or twice the amount of compensatory damages – whichever is higher.
  • Raising the criteria for winning punitive damages. With the passage of the bill, plaintiffs will have to prove that the accused acted with “intent to cause injury to a particular person,” or with the knowledge that their actions would lead to an injury.
  • Preventing the admission of certain reports as evidence. Reports from state regulators, or statements from employees of a health care provider, would no longer be admissable as evidence in civil or criminal cases.
  • Changing Expert Standards Qualifications for those who can provide expert testimony would be raised.

The bill’s provisions could do a lot of harm to a patient’s right to compensation for serious injuries caused by medical malpractice or nursing home abuse.

Medical Malpractice Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Tort reform supporters who boast it’s economic benefits don’t tell you that those benefits only speak to large corporations and insurance companies who proft from the limited liability that tort reform precipitates. Innocent people, like you and I, who have been seriousley and permanently injured by a negligent or careless doctor, hospital, or nursing home see no benefits at all from capped damages and limited liability.

If you or your loved one has suffered medical malpractice at the hands of a negligent medical provider, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia. Let the medical malpractice lawyers at the Mininno Law Office earn you the compensation you need and rightly deserve.