Letter to the Editor: Malpractice injustice

Las Vegas Review-Journal
Saturday, November 1, 2008

To the editor:
Your Sunday article, "Medical malpractice reforms still divide; Cap on damage awards" reveals the devastating hidden impact of the compensation limits, or "caps," that Nevada enacted in medical malpractice cases.
These caps not only unfairly restrict what legitimately injured patients can obtain for devastating injuries caused by grossly negligent medical care, but even worse, they make it nearly impossible for victims with certain types of injuries or income levels to even find an attorney who can finance a lawsuit.
Attorneys wish they could help, but the "caps" make it financially impossible for them to do so.
In fact, it may come as a surprise to some readers that "caps" apply across the board to all cases, not just frivolous cases. They apply no matter how much merit a case has, or the extent of the misconduct of the hospital or doctor. They apply regardless of the severity of the injury. Indeed, those most hurt are the most catastrophically injured.
These horribly treated patients, left with no recourse, are the forgotten faces in the debate of medical malpractice. We hope that organized medicine realizes the cruel impact of this law and joins with consumer groups to repeal it and fight the real culprit for rising insurance rates: a mismanaged and greedy insurance industry.
Joanne Doroshow
New York
The writer is executive director of the Center for Justice & Democracy.

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