Mediation – 678 Partners Ask CFR on How Mediation Can Yield Lower Costs, Produce Win-Win Results And Leave Less Emotional Strain in Comparison Vimeo
January 13, 2012
Had an eye opener discussion with Erin Johnston CEO and Founder of CFR an IL based mediation business. Idea Chef and I have been talking to different groups in the prior weeks about the Gulf Oil Spill and its consequences to the BP brand. Today we also decided to invite Nima Taradji as well to get the perspective of a trial attorney. Very educational and interesting findings when comparing mediation, arbitration and also litigation. Big cost and time differences between the techniques, better outcomes when both parties agree to some aspect rather than having one looser and one winner. Something very few people know: Emotional toll on the case looser, something mediation avoids because both parties decide, and not one or the other. Grab a cup of coffee over a Saturday or Sunday and listen to this interview.
December 28, 2011
Patient Evangeline Semark Lemoine is coping with frustration. She says until about a year ago, she was a healthy person. But now, even simple activities with her family can be challenging.
“I don’t have the carefree lifestyle that I had,” she said.
The 32-year-old mom says she’s now on a powerful blood thinner after developing a dangerous blood clot called a deep vein thrombosis in her leg.
Evangeline says it left her unable to walk, and after a phone call, resulted in her doctor advising her to get to an emergency room.
“The first thing out of her mouth was, ‘Are you on a birth control pill?” and I said, ‘Yes,’ and she said, ‘You need to get to the ER right now.'”
Lemoine, now a plaintiff, and her attorney say dangerous clots were also found in her lungs. They’re suing Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, blaming her health problems on the birth control pill Ocella, which is the generic form of Yasmin.
February 18, 2010
To summarize first here are the initial facts as newspapers printed the story. An elderly woman was given a hot cup of coffee that dropped into her lap. She claimed she had been injured by the hot coffee and was given an award by a jury that totaled in the millions. The media intimated the award was outrageous for just spilt coffee, than had talking heads continue the story by making fun of the victim as well. But there’s far more to the story than that.
It turns out the coffee was scalding hot, beyond that of the ordinary hot cup of coffee. The coffee poured into the woman’s lap, and as a result of severe burns, she was unale to walk and had to use a wheelchair for mobility. She had severe pain as well. According to the details spelled out in the case in legal archives, Stella Liebeck, age 79 at the time, was severely burned as a result of the hot coffee spill. She wasn’t dirving at the time, just attempting to remove the plastic lid from the cup. Her sweatpants absorbed the coffee, holding most of the scalding coffee close to the skin. An examination by a vascular surgeon determined Liebeck had full thickness, or third-degree burns, over 6% of her body. She was hospitalized for eight days for treatment, including skin grafting.
Liebeck asked McDonalds to pay her medical bills, attempting to settle her claim for $20,000. McDonalds refused, citing other cases of people who had been burned by the coffee. In other words, they knew the coffee was too hot, but used this knowledge as part of a defense, that folks recover; and it isn’t so bad. McDonalds had said their coffee was at 185 degrees, and people wanted it like that.
The case was appealed, and as a result took some time to resolve. The initial jury award was $200,000 in compensatory damages, reduced by 20% because Liebeck was found 20% responsible for what happened. The jury also gave an award of $2.7 million in punitive damages. That amount equals two days of McDonalds’ coffee sales, according to calculations of coffee sales by this large fast-food restaurant chain. A trial court eventually reduced punitive damages to $480,000, which was three times the compensatory damages given at the time of the first jury trial. This followed the judge calling McDonald’s conduct “reckless, callous and willful.”
What many people don’t know, or fail to understand, is that plaintiff attorneys don’t usually win their cases nor are most of those cases frivolous.
January 26, 2010
Tort law defines what a legal injury is and establishes liability. All tort reform limits the circumstances under which injured people may sue and limits how much a jury may award the injured.
Is tort reform good or bad? That depends on who benefits and who loses out. It benefits the insurance companies in a big way. It benefits for-profit hospitals and clinics. It hasn’t reduced our medical bills.
The big loser is the patient who is injured or killed by bad medical practice. Tort reform makes Florida’s health care system less safe and effective. It limits victims’ access to the courts and costs taxpayers money in order to care for injured victims. If you’re injured by bad medical practice, you will have a near-impossible time finding a lawyer who will represent you because of the 2004 Florida tort reform. It effectively gives bad doctors a license to kill.