Capping Medical Malpractice Verdicts Makes No Sense: The 3rd Leading Cause Of Death Are Medical Errors

Medication Errors

Only behind heart disease and cancer, medical errors is the third leading cause of death in the United States. This is higher than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. Whoa.

This equates approximately 98,000 people a year, or approximately 700 deaths a day due to medical errors. This is a massive number.

But lobbyists, insurance companies, healthcare providers, and other for-profit businesses want to cap the damages on medical malpractice cases. They want to reform the law so they can pad their pockets to keep their bottom lines healthy. Even though they kill more people than car accidents, which there are caps on damages.

Why are we reforming the law? Shouldn’t we be reforming medicine?!

If medicine is killing more people than anything else other than heart disease and cancer, why is it the patient’s fault. The healthcare cost crisis is not because people are suing frivolous claims, it is because people are being killed by doctors at an alarming rate—700 a day? Yikes!

To anyone who questions the medical malpractice “crisis,” I invite them to a calendar call day at their local supreme court (in New York), or county or superior court (most other states). Do sit in on a full calendar call day. Count the number of cases where banks are ripping homes from homeowners, or credit card companies seeking judgments against hardworking people who have fallen on hard times. Look at employment cases where employers are refusing to pay overtime properly owed to an employee, or workers’ compensation cases where the carrier is refusing to pay for work-related injuries.

Then count the number of medical malpractice cases. Better yet, count the number of personal injury cases. Sometimes on a calendar call day I may be the only personal injury case on the calendar, almost always less than 2-3 personal injury cases in a grouping of sometimes 20, 30, 40, 50, or even more cases on the calendar.

What is the theme?

Not victims of medical malpractice abusing the system. But it appears greedy insurance companies and pushy businesses coming to court to push around the rest of us. Law does not need to be reformed to hurt victims, but medicine needs to be reformed. Until medical errors do not kill more than 98,000 people a year, victims should be allowed to fully and freely seek the compensation they deserve.