New group opposes caps on awards

Belleville News-Democrat
Friday, February 18, 2005

A new group jumped Thursday into the fray over whether there should be a cap on how much a jury can award to a victim of medical malpractice.
Mark Fraley, a new worker for the New York-based Center For Justice & Democracy, said he will be working out of a Chicago office for the organization, which opposes limits on lawsuits. Fraley held a news conference in Edwardsville to announce he is forming Patients for Justice, which he said will consist of Illinoisans who have been affected by medical malpractice.
Joining Fraley was Dana Askew of St. Jacob, who said her 35-year-old husband, David, died in March 2003 of a bacterial infection in his blood.
"I love my husband very deeply," she said. "My husband's life was not frivolous, and the loss we have suffered unnecessarily as a result of his death is not frivolous, either."
Askew filed a lawsuit in October 2003 against three doctors, Anderson Hospital in Maryville and an emergency-care provider claiming they had failed to treat her husband properly. The suit is pending.
Fraley called on the Illinois State Medical Insurance Exchange, the largest insurance provider for Illinois doctors, to open its financial books to outsiders to see whether its rates are justified.
"It is outrageous that ISMIE continues to blame patients like these for skyrocketing malpractice rates," Fraley said.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

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