Supporters, opponents of tort reform bill present arguments

Las Vegas Review-Journal
Thursday, May 30, 2002

Dueling news conferences Wednesday at Valley Hospital Medical Center marked the first time the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association has engaged in an overt bid to win the public's sympathy in the medical malpractice insurance crisis.


[B]efore Sen. John Ensign's news conference to announce his tort reform bill based on California's 1975 legislation, the trial lawyers held their own news conference.

Two groups that oppose tort reform legislation released a study Wednesday which they said shows that it's not true that the 1975 tort reform legislation passed in California has kept down malpractice rates.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, based in California, and the Center for Justice & Democracy, based in New York, said their study showed it's a myth that caps on pain and suffering enacted in California slowed the growth of malpractice insurance premiums there.

The study was conducted by Robert Hunter, former Texas insurance commissioner and federal insurance administrator during the Ford and Carter administrations. Hunter concluded that, "There is not much difference in the (medical malpractice) rates or the rate of change between California and the nation, based on the latest decade of experience."

Ensign, a veterinarian, hadn't invited any trial lawyers to the private round-table discussion at the hospital. He shut them out because, "They have clearly set out their position, and they'll do anything to defeat (his bill) because it's not in their interests."

Malpractice attorneys take cases on contingency and are paid a percentage of the award if they win a case.

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