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Individuals’ Right to Sue Again Under Attack by “Corporate America”

The House Judiciary Committee voted 18-15 along party lines in the past week to send a Republican sponsored medical malpractice tort reform bill to the full house for approval. This bill is the latest in a long continuing assault by the minions of corporate america, i.e the Republican party, to limit or eliminate the individual’s right to seek redress in the courts for injuries sustained as a result of medical negligence and eventually destroy the right of the average citizen to seek compensation for negligent medical treatment. The law, if passed, would limit without condition all monetary recoveries for acts of medical malpractice for pain and suffering to $250,000 or twice the amount of economic damages, whichever is greater, that juries could award patients who bring suit for injuries suffered during the course of medical treatment. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-Ga) an obgyn who himself has been a defendant in medical malpractice cases (does he have an ulterior motive here?).

The truth about the motivations behind these constant attempts to eviscerate medical malpractice litigation is not to help reduce health care costs. Everyone admits that malpractice law suits add very little to the costs of healthcare, and help redress the terrible toll of pain and suffering by victims of malpractice. The real motivation behind these bills is to help protect the profits of insurance companies who have to pay out on any settlements or verdicts.

If you want to maintain your right to sue, immediately write or e-mail your congressman and senator to vote against this draconian bill that will do nothing to help bring down the costs of healthcare and will eliminate yet another tool in the arsenal of the individual in his fight against corporate america.

By Philip R. Papa