brought to you by Sick Of Lawsuits
 Volume XXI January 25, 2005 

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"What's happening all across this country is that lawyers are filing baseless suits against hospitals and doctors ... And they're doing it for a simple reason: they know the medical liability system is tilted in their favor…And because the system is so unpredictable, there is a constant risk of being hit by a massive jury award … That's what's happening in the system today. It's a system that's just not fair. It's costly for the doctors; it's costly for small businesses; it's costly for hospitals; it is really costly for patients." - President Bush, speech on medical liability reform, January 5, 2004, Collinsville, Illinois

Lawsuit Abuse News

More lawsuit abuse news on

Non-profit Hospital Lawsuits Frivolous
"Buoyed by other hospitals' victories in similar lawsuits around the country, lawyers for Baptist Health South Florida argued Friday before a federal judge in Miami that he should dismiss a lawsuit accusing the hospital system of gouging those without health insurance…The suit is part of a massive nationwide campaign against 400 nonprofit hospitals in more than 20 states. It is led by Richard Scruggs, a Mississippi attorney who won more than $1 billion in litigation against tobacco companies… In Pensacola, U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers warned Scruggs' associates in a hearing last month that she was concerned they were pursuing 'frivolous claims' and if she found that to be true, they might have to pay the hospitals' substantial legal costs." Miami Herald, January 8, 2005

Doctors - Not Trial Lawyers - Should Handle Health
"The news that Vioxx and Celebrex, used for arthritis pain relief, could in some cases double a person's risk for a stroke or heart attack has frightened many users. Already, trial lawyers - ever on the alert for the next tobacco - are recruiting claimants for a class-action lawsuit.

Such litigation would mean a few bucks for each client, but potentially billions for the lawyers…America is at a crossroads. It can either allow medical treatments to be held hostage by the legal profession or it can own up to its responsibilities. They include weighing risks against benefits … The solution is not to hopelessly frustrate research and innovation, nor to reduce access to drugs, which is the effect that protracted, multibillion-dollar litigation would have." Editorial, Charleston Gazette, December 21, 2004

Lawsuit Fears Limiting Mammograms
"A task force appointed by the [Florida] Legislature and the governor is blaming lawsuits for discouraging radiologists from offering mammograms, which could reduce the availability of the test…Dr. Ada Patricia Romilly, a task force member and administrative leader for breast imaging for the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, said fewer radiology residents want to study mammograms because of the potential legal risks…The task force cited a recent survey of 211 radiology residents that showed 63 percent of students wouldn't accept a fellowship in breast imaging. 'Why would you get into a field where you have all these trepidations?' Romilly said. 'Why would they jeopardize their lives and their careers if it's not absolutely necessary?'" St. Petersburg Times, December 18, 2004

Sick Of Lawsuits

Don Wolfe, executive director of Silicon Valley Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, met with the President this month to discuss lawsuit abuse and the need for class action reform. The President commended Don and Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse groups across the country for their hard work.

Also, please visit the new Sick of Lawsuits Web site at to find out how you can help to lawsuit abuse from bankrupting our healthcare system.

Legislative Update

President Bush, in his first major policy address of the year, launched his campaign for civil justice reform in Madison and St. Claire Counties, Illinois. He highlighted the costs that everyone from patients to small business owners pays because of frivolous lawsuits. The President has urged Congress to address legislation limiting jury awards in malpractice lawsuits and reforming class action lawsuits and asbestos litigation. - The Associated Press, January 6, 2005

The Maryland state legislature passed medical liability reform this month. The bill limits pain and suffering damages in wrongful death cases, establishes tougher guidelines for expert witnesses, allows judges to appoint independent witnesses to calculate damages and requires mediation before filing a malpractice suit. - The Baltimore Sun, January 11, 2005

Our Broken Healthcare Liability System

The Stats

63: Percentage of people who favor legislation limiting awards on pain and suffering damages in malpractice lawsuits against doctors. "Health Care Agenda for the New Congress," Kaiser Family Foundation Study, January 11, 2005

$246 billion: Cost of the U.S. tort system in 2003, which translates to $845 per person. "U.S. Tort Costs: 2004 Update," Tillinghast Towers Perrin, January 7, 2005

Nearly 100: Number of doctors forced to quit practicing in Virginia due to the medical malpractice crisis in the state. "Discussions set on tort reform," The Washington Times, January 19, 2005

For press inquiries, please contact Rossanna Salazar at: 1-800-476-1442

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