Bush to urge $250,000 caps in medical malpractice suits

Palm Beach Post
Thursday, July 25, 2002

President Bush plans to unveil sweeping proposals today to limit skyrocketing medical malpractice awards.

Bush's father, President George Bush, proposed similar tort reforms during his term, but Congress never acted on them. Both houses are working on liability reforms this session.

Scott Carruthers, executive director of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, said the president should focus on the insurance industry for causing the malpractice insurance crisis.

"I find it ironic that, at a time when Congress and the whole country are demanding corporate accountability, that the president would come out with proposals that would punish victims of medical malpractice while not demanding accountability in the insurance industry, which has created the insurance crisis," Carruthers said.

Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the New York-based Center for Justice and Democracy, a consumer advocacy group, said falling interest rates and declining stock markets have periodically caused liability insurance crises, including in the 1970s and the 1980s, and the present crisis is merely the latest example.

"This is a crisis that is driven by the economic cycles of the insurance industry," she said.

Bush's efforts to limit malpractice liability is a continuation of his tort reform efforts as governor of Texas, Doroshow said.

"It's really all about money, and that is what is driving him," she said. "I think he is completely out of touch with what laws like this do to people."

For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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