January 29, 2009
Initially, we had a discussion in my office and some attorneys believed there would be no litigation since this was simple as act of God and not negligence. Believing that airplanes just simply do not fall from the sky absent negligence I disagreed.
Well, it looks like I may have been right! We will see how this story develops.
Two days before US Airways Flight 1549 crashed into the Hudson River, passengers on the same route and same aircraft say they heard a series of loud bangs and the flight crew told them they could have to make an emergency landing, CNN has learned.
January 21, 2009
Before he was even a senator, let alone president-elect, then-unknown Barack Obama was, at a 2003 St. Patrick’s Day parade, a plunger wrangler. (Photo courtesy Mats Selen)
January 12, 2009
Medical malpractice law traces its roots back to 19th Century English common law. The law that developed concerning medical malpractice is part of the more general body of law dealing with injuries to people or property, known as “tort law.” Medical malpractice cases are an example of one particular type of tort, the tort known as “negligence.”
The concept of negligence is that people should be reasonably careful in what they do, and, if they are not, they should be held responsible for the injuries that can be reasonably foreseen as resulting from their negligent conduct.
Even though a series of major reports from the Institute of Medicine and others have pointed out serious deficiencies in the quality of medical care delivered in this country, with high rates of medical error causing harm or death, the talk in Congress and in the White House is not about quality of care or protection of patients.
Instead, the talk in Washington DC seems obsessed with tort reform. Medical malpractice law and insurance have become popular topics for debate in Washington, DC and around the country. Why?
January 12, 2009
“Tort reform” doesn’t work. Texas is the national model for so called “tort reform,” but medical-malpractice insurance premiums there only went down by 1.2 percent. In our state, because of a more competitive market, doctors saw their insurance bills go down by an average of 10.2 percent.
The doctors are not leaving our state. The number of doctors here has steadily grown since 1992 by 5,322. Lawsuits are down dramatically, as are verdicts.
“Tort reform” leads to unsafe health care. What is even more ironic is the quality of health care in Texas has declined precipitously in the past year. According to a just-released study by the United Health Foundation, it fell behind six other states compared to the past year’s ranking.
January 5, 2009
The fact is that the positive climate for doctors has resulted from strong, long suppressed insurance reforms, which were included in the legislation. That law has forced malpractice insurance companies to provide greater transparency on rate-setting and payouts that has, in turn, spurred competition, motivated more companies to enter the marketplace, and lowered premiums for doctors. Important to the discussion is the additional fact that Illinois’ largest malpractice insurer has reported that payouts have remained flat for the past 13 years. That same insurance carrier admitted in legislative hearings in 2005 that capping awards would not guarantee lower premiums for doctors.