No Good Answers

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Even as a lawyer, I support tort reform. Too many lawyers and people looking for a quick buck take advantage of a system driven by activist judges and ego centered attorneys. But as this article suggests, there is no easy answer to fixing the system.

The nurse told Bonnell Green she had a viral infection. Hours later, Green was dead of a heart attack.

Jonathan Green, her husband of 46 years, was outraged about the misdiagnosis. But now, four years later, he’s furious all over again.

Green recently recounted his story, speaking into a bank of microphones in the rotunda of the state Capitol. The Smyrna retiree condemned proposed legislation designed to limit medical malpractice lawsuits. The most controversial proposition — a $250,000 cap on “noneconomic” jury awards for a malpractice victim’s pain and suffering — infuriates Green.

“Because my wife didn’t work, her life would have been worth $250,000?” he asked. “It’s the worst discrimination I’ve heard of, saying they don’t value a nonworking person as much as someone who has a job.”

Just a few feet away stood Dr. Jack Kennedy, who expressed outrage of an entirely different sort.

Kennedy, 51, had to shut down his Cobb County practice as a general surgeon last year shortly after getting notice of his new medical malpractice insurance premium. He would have to pay more for the premium than he could earn.

“It was pretty sickening, actually,” said Kennedy, who was joined at the Capitol by dozens of other doctors in lobbying legislators to enact tort reform. “Something has to be done.”

I don’t have an answer to this one. I do think that $250,000.00 is too low. But then, why should damage for pain and suffering be allowed anyway. I think it should, but should it?

We also target the lawyers too much. We should turn more attention to the insurance companies that are jacking up rates, in some cases, even without excessive litigation.

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Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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