Archive for 'Tort Reform'

Tort reform results in two justice systems

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Are there two justice systems in Ohio? Regrettably, yes. Because of tort reform, there’s one for businesses and doctors and another for those occasionally injured at the hands of either.

Before going any further, let me explain something important. The purpose of this post is not to be critical of businesses or doctors. The purpose is to illustrate disparities in the justice system.

The distinction between the systems was highlighted in an Ohio Supreme Court decision in December. The case concerned a ...

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Ohio’s fractured tort law system       

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If you think Ohio law treats all injured parties the same, you’re wrong. Let’s look at the different outcomes for two plaintiffs.

Doug Dyer was involved in a collision that resulted in spine and neck injuries and multiple surgeries; he still suffers pain. Last June, a Franklin County jury awarded him nearly $11 million, which included over $9 million in damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life, all of which are referred to as “noneconomic ...

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Is litigation over bras frivolous? No way!

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For those of you who missed it, Victoria’s Secret and its affiliate, La Senza, have just engaged in combat with Maidenform—okay, they’re actually litigating, but their cause is awfully important—over who has the right to produce—yes, you guessed it—a bra. Not just any bra, mind you.  We’re talking about the “Bombshell ® brassiere” and the “Hello Sugar ® brassiere.” (Yes, it’s difficult not to engage in sophomoric jokes about this.)

You see, Maidenform accused Victoria’s Secret and La Senza of infringing ...

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Don’t give tort reform too much credit

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The Ohio Department of Insurance reports that the number of medical-malpractice suits decreased from 5,051 in 2005 to 4,006 in 2006. Is this the result of the tort-reform law that caps noneconomic damages? Maybe, or perhaps what we are witnessing is the result of a national effort to reduce hospital errors. In 2005, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement launched the 100,000 Lives Campaign, a nationwide initiative to reduce preventable deaths in hospitals, with a goal of saving 100,000 lives over ...

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Tort system isn’t pushing medical costs

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Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, along with others, criticized healthcare reform in 2009 for not dealing with malpractice claims.  Steele and others see the tort system as a significant factor in rising healthcare costs, including malpractice insurance premiums. To be complete, they contend that healthcare reform must include tort reform.

It’s an attractive argument but without supporting evidence. A Government Accountability Office study completed in June 2003 concluded that, while increased losses paid by insurers appeared to be ...

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Tort reform is actually claim suppression

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Let’s call it what it is. What health care providers, their insurers and some politicians propose in the name reducing medical costs is not tort reform. It’s claim suppression. A genuine effort at reforming how medical malpractice claims are handled would include reforming the entire system, but tort reformers speak only of capping damage awards and attorney fees, which will benefit only providers and their insurance companies. Patients will be harmed by the change. (Note: my firm doesn’t handle medical ...

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