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News Flash:FLORIDA Doctors are Above the Law & Mississippi Judge Declares Damages Cap Unconstitutional

July 28, 2012

http://www.medicalmalpracticelawyergroup.com/blog/article/doctors-are-above-the-law Posted by Stuart N. Ratzan on Thursday, February 16, 2012 Excerpt:

“To the Florida legislature, doctors are, and should be, above the law.  They have their own set of statutes.  They are the most protected and insulated group of citizens in our state.  They can practice medicine without liability insurance; they are entitled to special immunities, damage caps, pre suit protections, shortened statutes of limitations, expert witness certifications, expert witness disciplinary actions, and expert witness requirements.

Over the past 30 years, Florida has passed statute after statute designed to stack the deck in their favor when it comes to our justice system.  There is more than a thumb on the scale of justice.  The system is rigged.

This year there is more.  This week, the Florida legislature is considering a bill that increases the patient’s burden of proof from “greater weight of the evidence” (the standard in every civil action in Florida) to “clear and convincing evidence.”   This would put medical malpractice actions in a class by themselves.  What’s more, the bill would allow physicians and hospitals to escape the jury system altogether in favor of a private arbitration panel with private rules including severe damage caps of the health care provider’s choice.

None of this changes the fact that medical malpractice is a scourge in our community.  Ninety-eight thousand people a year die in hospitals due to medical error.  Thousands and thousands more experience life changing injuries due to medical neglect.  Only a handful of these cases ever make it to a lawyer, and a smaller number still make it to the courthouse.  And due to the legislation described above, an even smaller number result in compensation for the victims.

Doctors today control the legislature.  There will be more and more restrictive legislation until medical malpractice cases are eliminated from the system.  Who will speak for Florida’s patients?”

WORDWARRIORDebKrekic says, I will, I will, I will, I will, I WILL.

A battle is brewing in Washington, D.C. between those who want to take away patients’ legal rights and call it health reform, and the real people injured by medical errors. These resources explain why tough insurance regulation, not limiting patients’ rights, is the real way to hold down medical malpractice insurance costs.”-http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/focusarea/medical-malpractice

 

MISSISSIPPI Judge weighs in:

By Jack Elliott Jr. | April 25, 2012 Mississippi Judge Declares Damages Cap Unconstitutional

“The issue is not whether the limits imposed under the statute are reasonable. Rather, the issue is whether the Legislature has the authority to impose any limits, reasonable or not,” Webster wrote.

Webster said the framers of the constitution created the civil justice system and put the courts in charge of it.

Webster said the rights of a person to a remedy for an injury and to have that decided by a jury include the assessment of damages.

“Rights guaranteed by through the constitution may be changed, limited and/or removed. However, they cannot be changed, limited and/or removed by legislative enactment. There is a process by which such might occur — it is through amendment to the constitution,” Webster wrote. http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2012/04/25/244784.htm

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