Letter to the Editor: Untying the malpractice knot

Cleveland Scene
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Three cheers to Pete Kotz, who dispels the myth that juries, our legal system, and lawyers are the cause of skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance rates -- a fiction given credence far too long ["Capitol Idea," December 11]. This is an insurance problem. 

The only way to solve the problem is for lawmakers and regulators to take responsible, remedial steps to rein in the power and control the abuses of insurance companies, like charging excessive rates when their investment income drops. Otherwise, we will never be able to deal systematically with the tactics of this industry, which consistently looks for scapegoats to cover up its own instability and mismanagement. 

Moreover, by advocating limits on pain and suffering awards for medical malpractice victims, the Ohio legislature ignores the serious dangers that such arbitrary and sometimes cruel caps pose. The impact of such legislation could be devastating for many, including catastrophically injured children, causing untold suffering, economic devastation, and for some, the destruction of family life. In some cases, Ohio taxpayers would have to pick up the tab for harm caused by others in the form of taxpayer-funded health and disability programs. 

Emily Gottlieb, Deputy Director 
Center for Justice & Democracy 
New York, NY

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