|"Courage is not
the absence of
fear, but the ability
to rise and face it."
|Big Business Attacks on American Justice
The American system of justice was built on a concept of a jury by our peers judging our
actions, and holding those responsible for harm accountable for the harm they caused.
But some (Insurance Companies and Big Business) did not like that . . .
Now, because those with money and power were tired of being held accountable to the
rest of us when they do something wrong, they have successfully destroyed the rights of
many Amerians to bring suit with massive media attacks. They are well-funded, they
effectively use the media, and use terms like “reform,” “frivolous lawsuits,” and “greedy
trial lawyers” to sell their self-serving ideals to Americans who have so willingly voted
away many of their own rights.
Every victim of a medical error or nursing home abuse that has come to my office since
the effective date of the new "tort reform" law (HB-4), has been negatively affected by its
harsh cruelty. Many actually voted for it themselves – not realizing the damage that they
To our would-be elderly nursing home clients, we regret to inform you that most of you
will not have a case that we can pursue – at all. The legislature has capped “non-
economic damages” at $250,000. The jury is not even allowed to know that fact.
Because you are not earning an income, and therefore do not have economic damages –
as defined by our Republican legislature, that cap represents the absolute maximum value
of most of your cases. It is not in the least bit uncommon for one of these suits to cost
$100,000.00 or more by the time we walk into the courtroom, and our fees are typically
based upon a contingency (40% of the recovery). As you can see, if we were to win the
maximum dollar amount, the contingency fee of $100,000 combined with the reimbursed
costs of $100,000 would leave you only $50,000. You would be dissatisfied because in
that scenario your lawyers would have received more than you. Furthermore, despite the
media sound-bites to the contrary, most of these cases, nationwide, are not won by the
claimants, but by the well-funded and powerful insurance industry. Therefore, as a
business investment, MOST of these cases are now rejected by Texas attorneys who once
championed these causes.
Republicans continue to push bills in Congress that would make such limitations federal
in nature, and would limit the rights of all Americans. But these proposals would hurt
Texans even more than they have already been hurt. All those of you hurt by improperly
created medications (VIOXX, Avandia, Bextra, etc.), would not be able to sue if these
"tort reformers" have their way. Again, you couldn’t sue – regardless of whether the
manufacturer suspected danger and simply didn’t test for it, then concealed that fact from
the FDA - As long as the FDA approved it, the drug manufacturers will be immune from
liability for their bad acts!
It is only a small minority of doctors and healthcare facilities who commit the atrocities
that we sue for. A 2002 report by the Public Citizen consumer watch group indicated that
51% of all medical malpractice claims in the U.S. were made against less than 5% of
physicians. The problem is that the insurers do not only increase the rates for those 5%
of physicians (which would force the bad doctors out of business), but they increase rates
across the board, so that the good physicians have to pay the same rates as the bad ones.
It does not work in auto insurance - why do they think it should in medical insurance?
Because they can blame the scapegoats: “greedy trial lawyers;” “frivolous lawsuits;” and
you - the "greedy plaintiff;" for their own corporate greed, and because they have the
money and the media network in place to get that message out loud enough and often
enough that the general public believes it.
So what is the real Medical Malpractice Insurance Crisis? Ask any honest insurance
professional whether the lawsuits against negligent and reckless doctors has caused the
insurance crisis, or whether it was, instead, just bad investments in the stock market that
forced so many insurance companies into financial hardship. The truth is, the insurance
companies made huge investments in the stock market which (like so many personal
investments) turned sour. Most reports about the impact of medical malpractice lawsuits
– including a recent one conducted by the GAO (Government Accounting Office) show
that lawsuits account for less than 2% of the cost of insurance premiums paid by
The reality is that the insurance industry wants you to pay for their bad financial
decisions, and forfeit your civil right to recover for your injuries as a result. They will
use fear – or any other tactic at their disposal – to accomplish that goal. The right to trial
by jury should include the right to have a jury decide what your injuries are worth! Our
forefathers wrote it, and countless brave, young, uniformed men and women have died to
protect that fundamental right!
Remember, these so-called “runaway verdicts” against doctors were rendered by
impartial juries who listened to ALL of the evidence in each individual case, and made
their decision based upon legal FACT. The hype that these lawsuits were “frivolous” is
ludicrous when you consider that if they were, in fact, frivolous, the injured party could
almost never win – and only a fool would invest so much money to pursue them.
Before simply agreeing with the “lawsuit lottery” hype that the Insurance Industry has
sold, look deeply into each case. The insurers don’t want to risk a trial with
EVIDENCE. They would rather win every case at once - in the media with money!
We sincerely hope that no injury ever requires you to need our services, but if you walk
into our offices looking for assistance for some terrible injury done to you or a loved one
by a doctor, hospital, nursing home, HMO, trucking company, or drunk driver, please
understand that the law – and, unfortunately now, public opinion - are against us. When
it comes to injured children, especially, that is the REAL Medical Malpractice Crisis!
|Call for a FREE case evaluation: (512) 346-5688