brought to you by Sick Of Lawsuits
 Volume II June 10, 2003 

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The problem of healthcare liability is not just a problem for doctors. It is a problem for the whole healthcare system. Medicines and medical devices are made more expensive or unavailable, research and development is endangered and access to health insurance for consumers is restricted because of this epidemic of lawsuit abuse.
    –Maryann Maloney, Executive Director, Orange County Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

Lawsuit Abuse News

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Letters to the Editor: Frivolous lawsuits hurt patients who need drugs

“Patients who rely on medical devices and drugs suffer as more and more companies face this litigation threat. The cost of litigation – including defending against unsuccessful claims and frivolous lawsuits - are often at best passed on to consumers in the form of higher health-insurance premiums and drug costs. At worst, some life-saving drugs are never developed because the costs are too high.” - Adrienne “Andy” Kotner, President, San Diego Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, The San Diego Tribune Sunday, May 25, 2003

Editorial: Insurance Costs A Threat to Healthcare

"the business side of medicine is ailing and in need of a remedy. because in the absence

of one, it will become increasingly difficult for patients to get expedient access to healthcare." Chicago Daily Herald, May 15, 2003

Survey by American Hospital Association Shows Medical Liability Crisis Affects Communities' Access to Care

In a survey of more than 1,000 hospitals, the American Hospital Association found that lawsuit abuse has disrupted many of the nation’s hospitals’ ability to provide obstetrics, neurosurgery, trauma and other services for the communities that depend on them. “In some communities, hospitals have been forced to curtail or discontinue services... This can leave patients and families hours away from the care they need. We need to fix the system and ensure common-sense reform happens – for our communities and our patients.” – Rick Pollack, Executive Vice President, American Hospital Association, AHA Press Release, April 28, 2003

What people are saying...

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"… Nothing seems likelier to set back medical progress, and hinder drug development, than a raft of lawsuits whose common denominator is the enrichment of the plaintiffs’ bar. Sometimes, you wish these fine gentlemen could be forced to swallow their own, as it were, medicine."

Bill Murchison, "Lawyers who make you sick" Town Hall , May 20, 2003

"Even those that file a legitimate claim… often times the lawyers end up taking most of the money. The victims of these cases end up being victimized again."

Florida State Representative Connie Mack “Effort to limit lawyers fees could go before voters” Associated Press, May 28, 2003


On June 1, the Texas state legislature gave final approval to a comprehensive civil justice reform bill that addresses many of the problems plaguing the Texas courts including abusive class actions, the medical liability crisis and venue shopping.

Governor Jeb Bush presented a medical malpractice reform bill to the Florida state legislature on May 30. He has called for a four-day special session beginning June 16 in order for lawmakers to consider the bill.

Symptoms of a Broken Healthcare Liability System

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Lawyer advertising seeking to gather up claimants has become endemic – on television, radio billboards and the Internet. One of the nation’s largest legal-advertising agencies, Network Affiliates, reported that one-third of its $20 million in legal billings in 2001 came from pharmaceutical litigation ads, up from roughly 1 percent 10 years ago.
("See You In Court," Desert News, September 8, 2002)

The Department of Health and Human Services notes that when a patient does decide to go into the litigation system, only a very small number recover anything. They note that 57 – 70 percent of cases result in no payment for the patient.
(Testimony presented by the Physician Insurers Association of America before the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law before the House Judiciary Committee, June 12, 2002)

Almost half of the total amount of claim costs paid for liability claims in the long term care industry is going directly to attorneys.
(Long Term Care: General Liability and Professional Liability Actuarial Analysis, Aon Risk Consultants, April 2002)

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