New emphasis on state malpractice talks after Bush visit

Associated Press
Thursday, January 6, 2005

As President Bush renewed his push for malpractice reform, he put a different face on Madison County - home to an infamous court system dubbed the nation's worst "judicial hellhole" by reform supporters.

Doctors, hospitals and insurers say the problem is frivolous malpractice lawsuits, and they want to limit who can file complaints and how much money victims can receive for pain and suffering. Trial lawyers argue such limits punish victims who deserve compensation, and they contend insurers and bad doctors should be examined more closely.
"We think that the cause of the increase in insurance rates is unjustified," said Kevin Conway, president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. "We have some differences as to what constitutes medical negligence."
Opponents argue the president is exaggerating the problem in Madison County. Only 364 lawsuits have been filed against doctors and hospitals there in the last eight years, and patients won just eight of the 21 that went to trial.
Amber Hard, Illinois director of the Center for Justice and Democracy, a group that opposes limiting lawsuit awards, called for regulating insurance companies instead of limiting what people can win in court.
"These caps would only affect people who are the most seriously injured by medical malpractice," she said
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

Join Our Fight!

The Center for Justice & Democracy is the only national consumer organization in the country exclusively dedicated to protecting our civil justice system. If you'd like more information, please contact us.

Connect with us