Latest Symptoms of a Broken System

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Lawsuit abuse threatens our healthcare system and jeopardizes our ability to continue to provide Americans with the finest healthcare in the world. Listed below are the latest symptoms of our broken healthcare litigation system.

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Symptoms of Lawsuit Abuse

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  • Fen-Phen plaintiffs charged with fraud in $400 million fen-phen settlement in rural Mississippi county known for eye-popping jury verdicts.

    Eleven fen-phen plaintiffs have been arrested and charged with fraud for allegedly lying about taking the drug so that they could be part of a $400 million settlement in Fayette, Mississippi. The arrests were the result of a yearlong federal investigation into Jefferson County, Mississippi where juries commonly return multimillion-dollar verdicts. Personal injury lawyers flock to the County, which has been named a "Judicial Hellhole" by the American Tort Reform Association, to capitalize on large verdicts. The FBI is also investigating how individuals become part of these lawsuits and exactly how juries are selected in an area where many people are related or acquaintances.


    - Jackson Clarion Ledger, September 1, 2004

  • Senator Bill Frist on lawsuit abuse

    Another reason health care costs too much is our abused medical liability system. The culprits are personal injury trial lawyers. We oppose these predators. We must stop them from twisting American medicine into a litigation lottery where they hit the jackpot and every patient ends up paying. Let me share with you a story. Two years ago, on a family vacation in Florida, I came across a horrendous car accident as my sons and I drove along Alligator Alley.


  • Lawsuits against hospitals spiking

    Mississippi plaintiff lawyer Richard Scruggs says he is trying to solve the nation's crisis of uninsured patients.

    Others say the lawsuits against health systems around the nation brought by Scruggs and other class-action lawyers are simply exploiting the problem of 44 million people without health insurance to get money from hospitals. - Philadelphia Inquirer, August 8, 2004

    Court Triage: Bayer, Pressed to Settle a Flood of Suits Over Drug, Fights Back

    "Bayer offered $250,00 to settle Mr. Haltom's case, a sum within the range on its 'grid' for a plaintiff such as him. Bayer says the plaintiff's lawyer refused to consider this or any other offer unless Bayer settled all 1,400 of his Baycoll cases. 'But 1,300 of your plaintiffs weren't even injured by' the drug, Mr. Beck [Bayer's lawyer] says he objected. He says that he urged Mr. Watts to at least tell his client about the $250,00 offer, but that the plaintiff's lawyer refused. Mr. Watts says the offer was of no use to his client because the law firm had already spent $320,00 preparing for trial and the client was to get compensation only after its costs had been covered. Mr. Watts says he told the Haltoms there was an offer that wouldn't do them any good - without specifying its amount….Three days later the verdict came in: Bayer had no liability…Mr Haltom, the elderly plaintiff, was stunned. 'Watts thought he could make a killing,' he says, but 'I got nothing, not a penny.' Then he found out Bayer's settlement offer had been for $250,000. 'The lawyer never told us. We might have taken it,' Mr. Haltom says." - The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2004


  • Frivolous Lawsuits Undermine Healthcare System and Hurt Patients According to New Survey
    Lawsuits increase the cost of healthcare, force changes in the practice of medicine and scare patients from necessary care. - April 1, 2004

  • President Bush on the State of the Union
    On January 20, 2004, President Bush highlighted the need to protect our healthcare system and called for an end to frivolous lawsuits:

    "On the critical issue of health care, our goal is to ensure that Americans can choose and afford private health care coverage that best fits their individual needs. To make insurance more affordable, Congress must act to address rapidly rising health care costs...

    ...To protect the doctor-patient relationship, and keep good doctors doing good work, we must eliminate wasteful and frivolous medical lawsuits."

    Read the full text of the State of the Union

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