Our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys understand that while we vigorously believe in the injustice of “tort reform” measures that take away the rights of injured victims, we are easy for other to attack because of the type of work that we do. Those who are actively seeking to arbitrarily override jury decisions accuse those in our position as simply being greedy individuals who want to make more money and profit off others. We understand the political reasons why medical malpractice lawyers are attacked in this way. These clearly biased attacks will do nothing to dampen our commitment to helping injury victims seek justice and fairness with the big interests that do them harm.
We also well understand that we are on the right side of justice with many other impartial organizations when we stand against dangerous “tort reform” legislation that percolates throughout the halls of Congress. The latest version is known as House Resolution 5 (H.R. 5). As an Injury Board post explained on Friday, many impartial, non-profit organizations have come forward against this backward-thinking legislation.
Recently the Director of the Congressional Watch division of one of those groups, Public Citizen, explained how H.R. 5 was a “grab bag of the worst set of ‘deforms’ proffered yet.” The legislation would essentially combine many of the most damaging methods of limiting the rights of regular citizens to seek justice in the courtroom, combine them, and mandate that all states in the country follow it. Just a few of these so-called medical malpractice reforms include: arbitrary caps on damage awards, shorter statutes of limitations, and preemption of state laws on the topic. Also very troubling is the fact that this legislation applies to not only negligent hospitals and doctors but also to abusive nursing homes, medical device makers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
It does not take much investigation to uncover how these dangerous bills are considered by lawmakers. Many of the big –interests who will be protected from legal claims against them-such as hospitals, doctors, and drug companies-frequently lobby and onate piles of campaign cash to supportive politicians to “encourage” them to support “liability reform” measures. Amazingly, these deliverers of misinformation have been able to convince some that medical malpractice lawsuits are somehow one of the biggest reasons that healthcare costs are increasingly. Virtually every single independent study on this issue has found that to be completely untrue.
In our area, virtually every Chicago medical malpractice attorney understands the often devastating effects that these preventable medical errors have on the lives of local community members. When these victims seek redress in the court system they are not asking for handouts or windfalls. Instead, they simply ask a jury of their peers to consider the information in the case and return a fair verdict. Those jury members do not have any personal stake in the cases. Yet, amazingly, some lawmakers in Washington D.C. believe that they know better than each and every jury across the country. Those pushing this legislation believe that they should make decisions about awards in every one of these medical malpractice cases, regardless of what an impartial jury who actually heard both sides decides. This attempt is completely wrong-headed and in violation of the spirit of the justice system upon which our nation should take pride.
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