If it were possible to focus our attention on one really big issue in medical care would frivolous lawsuits be anywhere near the top of the list? Not according to Frivolous lawsuits? Pfft!, a post by Marie Carnes at Disarranging Mine. Marie, who says she has been a legal secretary for both plaintiff and defense lawyers for 30 years, has only seen one lawsuit that should never have been filed. Some might have called it a frivolous lawsuit.
On Evan Shaeffer’s Legal Underground, the always thought provoking Unnamed Associate defines a frivolous lawsuit as:
“one that gets dismissed, either by a motion to dismiss because it doesn’t state a claim, or on summary judgment because there’s just no relief available under the law.”
I have no disagreement with that.
By their recent ad blitz of billboards and radio spots, it appears the tort reformers would have the public believe that unnecessary lawsuits are being filed every day, all day. And, that the lawyers who file those suits are as vicious as wild animals on an Australian safari. Personally, I don’t see it.
What I do see is something much more dire going on to which we should be devoting our attention. Something evil. And vile. And killing. A few examples:
Nursing homes: The more care you need in a nursing home, the less care you get.
Hospitals: The longer you’re in a hospital, the greater your chance of being injured by the hospital.
Doctors who look the other way when they see mistakes by other doctors.
Doctors who cover up their mistakes by altering their patient records.
Personally, I think the tort reformers could better serve the public by addressing those issues. Go for it.
I have spent over 35 years representing the victims of malpractice and other acts of negligence and believe Marie’s issues are valid ones, especially concerning the risks associated with hospital stays.