Response to Republican Malpractice Bill

Last week, Republicans introduced tort reform legislation that would make serious changes to current medical malpractice liability and infringe upon the rights of patients nationwide. Malpractice liability has been a hot topic of debate for quite sometime, and after the introduction of this bill, many people have varying opinions on the issue.

HEALTH Act Unlikely to Pass

While the bill has a good chance of winning passage in the House, it most likely will face intense opposition in the Senate. Senate Judiciary chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), has always opposed caps on damages and instead supports lifting anti-trust immunity for insurance companies in hopes of sparking competition within the industry and subsequently lowering premiums.

new jersey philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers Overwhelmingly Opposed Tort ReformWhite House aides have provided that President Obama is strongly opposed to placing caps on damages for injured patients, but would be open to utilizing other avenues of resolution, such as “health courts” or special arbitration systems.

Illinois and Georgia have recently struck down state-wide caps on liability, arguing that they violated their state constitutions. Liability caps are an unfair advantage to insurance companies and severely negligent medical providers, as it is in the worst cases that juries are inclined to offer large sums of money for pain and suffering.

California has been using a cap system since 1975 and claims that those caps are what keep insurance rates low. However, consumer groups in the state maintain that California’s regulations on insurance rates are what serve to keep premiums low, not their caps on liability.

Medical Malpractice Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadephia

If tort reform is a way to keep premiums low, why not skip the middle man and fix the actual problem; insurance companies charging astronomical amounts of money to protect their clients. Limiting the awards to an injured victim of malpractice may or may not change insurance premiums. Without regulations on the industry, insurance companies will remain free to charge whatever they like. The answer to our current healthcare problem cannot be found by limiting patient rights.

If you or a loved one have suffered at the hands of a neglient 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 deserve.

President Obama Mentions Tort Reform in his State of the Union Address

Last night, in his State of the Union Address, President Obama tenderly glossed over a subject that has been a source for much debate over the last few years; medical malpractice reform. The President stated that he was:

“willing to look at other ideas to bring down [health care] costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.”

Tort Reform Hurts Consumers

new jersey philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers president obama tort reformAs medical malpractice lawyers, we find that those who accuse medical malpractice claims of being frivolous do not understand the extent of the damage done to people’s lives when negligent doctors make irreversible mistakes. Tort reform would only serve to harm those who are already victims of their health system, and reduce liability for those companies that, by merit of their missions, should be working for their consumers, not against them.

Medical providers and manufacturers have great responsibilities to those that lend them their trust. Patients put their lives in the hands of doctors and surgeons. Consumers put their lives in the hands of manufacturers. Limiting the liability that these figures would be responsible for would only assist in diminishing the importance of those responsibilities. Many states in the US have already begun putting in place their own tort reform legislation; reform that includes caps on damages. For a family of five in Texas with a working mother that died due to a cancer misdiagnosis, a medical malpractice lawsuit could reap no more than $250,000. This amount of money would hardly cover medical bills, let alone take care of the remaining family members in the absence of their mother’s income.

Allegations that the tort system costs the health care industry billions of dollars a year are constantly debunked. Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policies and research, estimated that less than 2.5% of all healthcare costs can be attributed to medical malpractice litigation. And while tort reformists argue about “frivolous lawsuits,” they never seem to mention the “frivolous defenses.” Medical providers who have made irrevocable mistakes, instead of taking responsibility and compensating accordingly, mount “frivolous defenses,” paying high priced lawyers and medical “experts” to argue that the medicine they practiced was on par with the standard of care.

While most doctors strive to heal, there are those that strive only to gain money and power. These doctors will cut corners and practice negligent medicine, and it’s these doctors that must be held liable. How can we protect patients and consumers when we are restricting punishment and restitution for their harms?

Medical Malpractice Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

So often, the media taints it’s picture of medical malpractice attorneys and their fight against medical negligence. It is a widespread belief that these “ambulance chasers” want nothing more than money, and they’ll get it any way they can. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Medical malpractice attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they work for free unless they win. And they work on the side of justice, hoping to earn compensation for those who have been seriously injured and affected by negligence.

If you or a loved one have suffered due to medical malpractice, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Let the Mininno Law Office team work to earn you the compensation you need and deserve.

Both Parties Agree: Corporate Civil Justice Myths are Bogus

Recently released data from the Bush Administration’s Department of Justice has confirmed what politicians on both sides of the aisle already knew: Corporate attacks on the validity of the civil justice systems are unwarranted and false.

As part of an ongoing lobbying campaign, the Chamber of Commerce has continuously hassled politicians trying to get them to, “pull in the reigns of greedy trial lawyers who exploit our courts.” They however have been surprised to find out that Democratic President Barack Obama and Former Republican President George W. Bush both agreed that their tales of, “jackpot justice,” practiced by, “opportunist attorney’s,” were bogus.

Recently, the Chamber of commerce, through its political action committee, The Institute for Legal Reform, had pressed President Obama to reform the legal system to benefit corporate interests and make it more difficult for citizens to sue (See our December 23rd article for more information.) Fortunately for President Obama, he only had to look as far as former President George W. Bush for some data on the chamber’s claims.

The Department of Justice, under the Bush Administration, released a study confirming that the Chamber of Commerce’s claims were drastically over exaggerated. The study supplements a recent American Association for Justice study, which discovered the following facts:

Tort Cases make up only 6 percent of civil filings in state courts.

Tort cases represent less than one percent of civil filings in federal court

Manufacturing companies ranked “fear of litigation” as their lowest concern, well behind material costs, energy prices, foreign competition, and taxes.

Median legal expenses of individuals who incurred them were not exorbitant, and usually ranged between $5,000 and $4,000.

Although it is rare, both parties in Washington can agree that the Chamber of Commerce’s claims are not to, “protect the legal system from greedy attorneys,” but instead to bolster corporate image and interest at the expense of the people and the legal system established to protect them.