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 Volume IV July 22, 2003 

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Efforts by personal injury lawyers to flood the courts with class-action lawsuits based on "junk science" are undermining the effectiveness of our litigation system and pose a threat to healthcare. Numerous unharmed litigants are cashing in on jackpot jury awards and depriving those who are truly harmed from receiving compensation.
    –Maryann Maloney, Executive Director, Orange County Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

Lawsuit Abuse News

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Opinion Editorial by Michael Fumento: Lawyers Exploiting the Mentally Ill

"The newest class of anti-psychotic drugs causes diabetes. We know this because trawlinglawyers tell us so. Fortunately, almost nobody in the media is buying it – yet. But frivolous lawsuits have sullied the reputation of many a safe and critical drug. This time, schizophrenics and others with severe mental illness could suffer horribly when frightened away from their medication." Naples Daily News, June 27, 2003

States Move to Curb Nursing Home Suits

"State legislatures across the nation are moving to cap damage awards in suits against nursing homes in an attempt to cut healthcare

costs and tackle what they perceive as 'runaway verdicts.' In the past year, lawmakers in nearly a dozen states have introduced legislation to limit non-economic damages in nursing home suits."National Law Journal, July 8, 2003

Opinion Editorial by Sidney Smith: The Threat to Medical Innovation

"Those who fight against tort reform are ignoring the real stories of real people who are being harmed by the status quo…Every time a malpractice insurance premium doubles or triples, physicians are forced to cut costs elsewhere. Nurses, medical assistants and receptionists lose their benefits, or worse, their jobs. New equipment goes unpurchased. And new technology goes unadopted – not worth the cost in dollars or risk. And without the willingness to take risks, medical innovation stagnates.", July 11, 2003

What people are saying...

read more quotes about lawsuit abuse in Sick of Lawsuits

"The Nation's medical liability system is badly broken, and access to quality health care for Americans is endangered by frivolous and abusive lawsuits...the medical liability crisis is driving good doctors out of medicine, and leaving patients in many communities without access to both basic and specialty medical services."

President George W. Bush, "Malpractice Bill Looks Doomed" Talon News, July 10, 2003

"Texas is facing a medical liability crisis that threatens the ability of many patients to get the care they need. Some regions of the state are affected more than others. But every county in Texas is facing serious medical problems brought on by excess litigation."

Texas State Senator Bill Ratliff "Texas Needs Cap on Suits" The Dallas Morning News, July 14, 2003


Federal In July, the Senate passed on the opportunity to take up a national bill that would place a $250,000 cap on jury awards in medical malpractice suits. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has vowed to revisit the legislation when Congress reconvenes in the fall.

West Virginia A law to cap damages in medical malpractice awards went into effect in West Virginia on July 1. The new legislation institutes a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages or $500,000 cap in cases of death, loss of limb or permanent disability.

Our Broken Healthcare Liability System – The Stats

40%: Percentage of Texas counties with no licensed birthing doctor or gynecologist; litigation threats and skyrocketing premiums have driven out medical specialists from these areas. ("Texas Needs Cap on Suits" The Dallas Morning News, July 14, 2003).

236: Number of months it took to resolve the Bendectin litigation, despite the fact that the most balanced study of the drug concludes, "[N]o plaintiff should be able to satisfy the burden of proof on causation in a Bendectin case."

("Mississippi Becomes a Mecca for Tort Suits" National Law Journal, April 30, 2001; In re; Diet Drugs, MDL no. 1203, Case No. 02-1763, November 15, 2002 ruling of Hon. J. Bartle.)

5: Number of states that account for 66% of personal injury claims filed in relation to asbestos litigation. Coincidentally, all five of these states (Mississippi, New York, West Virginia, Ohio, and Texas) have been targeted by the American Medical Association as venues facing a medical liability crisis.(RAND Institute for Civil Justice. Asbestos Litigation Costs and Compensation: An interim report 2002; American Medical Association,

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

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