Pitfalls Of Tort Reform

The subject of tort reform always comes up when healthcare costs are discussed, with proponents claiming high medical malpractice awards significantly contribute to high costs. What tort “reformers” often fail to mention is the necessity of significant financial punishments to keep the medical community honest.

Tort involves a “civil crime” like an auto accident or a medical malpractice suit. The “reform” typically discussed attempts to prevent “runaway verdicts” that can range into the millions of dollars.

When doctors make mistakes, it can permanently alter the life of a patient. Crippling, permanent injuries or even death is possible when medical negligence occurs, and doctors are sworn to protect our health. While it might be appealing to expect the best out of our fellow human beings, giving a lackluster performance while on the job is not uncommon, even for doctors.

Many of the higher verdicts that are awarded in medical malpractice cases involve significant punitive damages. Punitive damages are not to reward the victim, but rather to inflict financial punishment. When faced with a suit where the doctor recklessly endangered his or her patient, the jury may attempt to punish the doctor in order to discourage the behavior.

Our Denver injury lawyer Tom Metier’s recent successful medical malpractice lawsuit obtained a $9 million verdict for our client. Had tort reform changed the law, this verdict would not have been possible. Through medical negligence, our client’s life was nearly ruined, but we hope our verdict sends a message to healthcare professionals about their duties, and we encourage the legislation to avoid adopting tort reform measures.

The Metier Law Firm, LLC – Denver injury lawyers

1 thought on “Pitfalls Of Tort Reform”

  1. When Governor Rick Perry signed the 2003 Tort Reform Act, it strangled the 7th Amendment and left it to die a slow unceremonious death. It sacrificed fundamental constitutional liberties secured in the Bill of Rights to protect a few bad doctors in Texas.

    Providing a link to a video showing an example of what is happening in Texas and the countless of doctors who were allowed to practice freely without accountability, inflicting collateral damage upon the public.

    Since the link sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, Google: Cleveland Mark Mitchell, then click on youtube Cleveland Mark Mitchell December 12 1950 – April 26 2008.

    When Governor Rick Perry brags about how much medical costs have gone down in Texas, he is not lying. How can medical costs go up when care is not given? How can one charge for a service, when a service is not performed?

    The Texas Medical Board is a Kangaroo Court. Half of them were appointed by Governor Rick Perry, including the president, Dr. Irv Zeitler, who has failed miserably in policing after his own. A geologist has been appointed by Governor Rick Perry who also is a board member. What does a geologist know about medical issues? (Maybe they use her as a kidney stone specialist?)

    When loved ones write to the TMB to ask what happened to their loved ones and would like an explanation, Leigh Hopper, spokeswoman for the TMB writes back with, “we judge a doctors demeanor by his/her narrative and demeanor.” Can someone please tell me since when demeanor has become the scientific method of proving guilt? A letter like this to family members indicates arrogance, unaccountability and a lackadaisical attitude indicating the board has not been accountable for the many reckless and negligent doctors they have set free to kill their patients without accountability.

    Thank you for your time,

    Cilla Mitchell

    A Texas nurse and vet

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