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Doctor Fights Lawsuit Abuse
Dr. Elizabeth Connell Joins "Sick of Lawsuits" National Campaign


ATLANTA - August 26, 2003 - Dr. Elizabeth Connell, an OB/GYN and former FDA advisory panel chairperson, has joined the Sick of Lawsuits Campaign as Senior Counselor. Dr. Connell has been involved in lawsuit abuse issues for years and wants Americans to know how frivolous lawsuits threaten our healthcare system by driving up costs, jeopardizing medical innovation, limiting access to healthcare and making doctors afraid to practice medicine.

"I am fed-up with the shameless tactics of some personal injury lawyers and the out-of-control litigation that endangers our access to healthcare," Dr. Connell said. "I am very pleased to be part of the Sick of Lawsuits campaign and to help to inform Americans about how lawsuit abuse threatens our entire healthcare system."

Lawsuit Abuse Facts:

  • According to a recent Towers Perrin study, the U.S. tort liability system cost each U.S. citizen $721 in 2001 ($205 billion total).

  • More than 40 percent of doctors reported avoiding prescribing appropriate medication because they knew the drug might be involved in litigation.

  • Personal injury lawyers walk away with 30-50 percent of any jury award to the plaintiff, plus an additional percentage of the award to cover expenses.

  • Since its widely used cholesterol-lowering drug Baycol was withdrawn from the market, Bayer is facing more than 8,000 lawsuits. The New York Times notes that at least 6,000 of those lawsuits, however, are being filed by people who did not suffer any side effects whatsoever.

Interested individuals can take action by visiting www.SickofLawsuits.org and joining our Million Email March on Washington D.C. "Sick of Lawsuits" is gathering emails from citizens to send to elected officials to let them know that lawsuit abuse is making us sick.

"The effect of lawsuit abuse on healthcare is a much larger problem than medical malpractice insurance costs for doctors," added Dr. Connell. "Our medical legal system is broken and patients are paying the price."

Dr. Connell is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. She holds an A.B. and a M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Over the course of more than 50 years in medicine, she has served on numerous boards and committees that involve a wide range of issues. Dr. Connell was the first woman to chair an advisory panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1973. During more than 30 years of work with the FDA, Dr. Connell chaired many panels, committees and workshops; witnessing first-hand how good healthcare products can become the victim of frivolous lawsuits.

The Sick of Lawsuits campaign aims to educate the public about how frivolous lawsuits threaten our healthcare system. The campaign is an initiative of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA), a non-profit, grassroots public education group.

Lawsuit Abuse Makes Us Sick
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