"Despite progress toward ending lawsuit abuse in Florida, our state continues to struggle against the influence of well-connected personal-injury lawyers who are working hard to ensure that Florida's courts remain havens for frivolous lawsuits."
Slade O'Brien, executive director of Florida Stop Lawsuit Abuse, Tallahassee Democrat, March 17, 2007.
Doctors Rushing to Practice in Texas After Tort Reform
"Sign seen hanging in a vacant medical office in New York: 'GTT'." Just three years after state lawmakers cured a so-called medical crisis that was supposedly driving hordes of doctors out of the state, the state's medical board is facing another one – too many doctors driving in. The state's sweeping medical malpractice lawsuit reforms in 2003, which capped payouts in medical malpractice cases, created one of the least-risky climates for doctors in the country. As proof, Texas became the first and only state to ever make it off the American Medical Association's list of states in medical liability crisis." Austin Business Journal (Subscription Required), March 9, 2007. Read More »
Doctor-Lawyer Scam Alleged
"A federal indictment claims unidentified doctors and lawyers in Las Vegas conspired with a medical consultant for two years to pad their own pockets by "artificially and fraudulently inflating settlements or judgments" in personal injury cases, prosecutors announced Friday. The indictment, which initially was sealed, names only former Las Vegas resident Howard Awand as a defendant. Awand, who "purported to be" a medical consultant, was at the heart of a multimillion-dollar scheme that included paying kickbacks, jacking up medical costs and even performing unnecessary procedures, all without clients' knowledge or consent, according to the document." Las Vegas Review-Journal, March 3, 2007. Read More »
Silicosis Screener Fined for X-Raying Potential Plaintiffs in Parking Lots
"The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined a New Jersey medical screening company $80,500 for X-raying potential silicosis plaintiffs at three Pennsylvania motel parking lots without prior written authorization or the presence of a licensed medical practitioner. The fine against Most Health Services Inc. of Voorhees, N.J., which the company already has appealed, stems from allegations raised in silica litigation in Pennsylvania state court that plaintiffs counsel – in this instance, Provost & Umphrey of Beaumont, Texas – improperly built its Pennsylvania silica practice through mass screenings for claimants." National Law Journal, March 2, 2007. Read More »
Sick of Lawsuits Spokeswoman Dr. Evelyn Tobias-Merrill was quoted in an Austin Business Journal story about a new survey from the Texas Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse groups, which found that local doctors are concerned about bogus court testimony and its effects on the medical profession. In the article, Dr. Tobias-Merrill argued, "Texas physicians want the personal injury lawyers and the expert witnesses who peddle junk science in our courts to clean up their act." The story was also printed in Business Journals across the country. Business Journal, March 23, 2007. Read More »
Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW) Executive Director Lance Trover was quoted in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch news article about a bill that would establish a pretrial hearing on the merits of any expert witness in a civil trial. The article mentions I-LAW's newly released survey, which found that Illinois physicians overwhelmingly support new professional standards that would regulate medical expert witness testimony in court. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 21, 2007. Read More »
The Wisconsin Legislature is currently considering two pieces of legislation, A.B. 121 and its Senate companion S.B. 60. The proposed bills seek to increase the standards for allowing expert medical witnesses to testify in court.
The Missouri House Rules Committee approved proposed legislation that will, if passed, set minimum medical criteria that must be met in order to file an asbestos or silica related lawsuit.
4,026:Number of applications the Texas Medical Board received for state medical licenses in 2006, up 35 percent from 2005, in large part due to recent legal reforms. Austin Business Journal, March 19. 2007
$9,827: Estimated annual "tort tax" imposed by the U.S. tort system on a family of four. "Jackpot Justice: The True Cost of America's Tort System," Pacific Research Institute, March 27, 2007
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