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Medical Malpractice Limits Passed by House

Make no mistake about it, I firmly believe that there is no malpractice crisis and that attempts to close the court house doors to patients who have suffered devastating brain injuries at the hands of incompetent physicians is not the cure to bad medical care.

Now, the US House of Representatives for the third time has again passed legislation that will limit the ability of those who have suffered life long brain damage as a result of medical malpractice from obtaining full and fair compensation for their injuries.  Read the full AP story by clicking here. The House passed a bill that will cap the amount that anyone can receive for pain and suffering at $250,000.  This legislation still must be passed by the Senate and I urge you to contact your Senator and urge him or her to vote no.  This legislation is anti patient and is only designed to protect insurance companies.  Read the editorial in the Albany Times Union entitled "Medical Malpractice Myths" which attacks the merits of this legislation by clicking here .

A medical mistake In Hawaii yesterday, where a hospital gave a new born infant  carbon dioxide instead of oxygen resulting in her becoming permanently brain damaged and in a coma would be affected by this new legislation.  Read the story by clicking here .  Should this child be limited in her recovery where the result will cause a life time of pain and suffering?  Earlier this week, a neurosurgeon operated on the wrong side of a patient's brain click here to see post. 

In a medical malpractice case I settled last week, neurosurgeons attempting to insert a shunt missed the ventricle three times finally striking a major blood vessel in the brain causing massive brain hemorrhage. To read full post click here .

Last year I successfully prosecuted a law suit against an anesthesiologist and surgeon for causing profound anoxic brain damage to a college student when he was oxygen levels where not properly monitored in the operating room.  A settlement of over 8 million dollars was reached in his case. This young man who s now confined to a wheel chair sustained profound cognitive brain damage and can no longer care for himself.  Should his recovery have been limited?

I had the pleasure of representing a nurse who suffered brain injuries after her obstetrician failed to remove all of her placenta following child birth.  The piece that was left became infected.  Despite a high fever and bleeding, the doctor discharged her from the hospital.  The infection lead to toxic brain damage. We eventually reached a multi million dollar settlement of her case.   Should this young mother who can no longer work or care for her child be limited to this artificial cap or should the medical profession step in and police bad medical care? 

A study of medical malpractice in New York State, conducted by the Harvard Medical School confirms that the incidence of malpractice is much larger than the incidence of claims. The investigators identified 16 adverse events for every claim paid. To quote the Study, "we do not now have a problem of too many claims; if anything, there are too few" The study confirmed that:

1.      There is a staggering crisis in health care quality in New York State;

2.      The incidence of negligence is shocking;

3.      Bad medical care is found more frequently at hospitals with a greater proportion of minority patients;

4.      Patients over the age of 65 were found more likely to receive substandard care;

5.      Many people never knew that they or their family members had been subjected to bad or incompetent medical services; and

6.      Seriously injured patients gain almost nothing by filing a complaint with the Department of Health, which rarely responds or takes effective action

I urge you to call or write your Senator to vote NO on this legislation.



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