Thursday, February 4, 2010

Illinois court tosses malpractice caps!

Among the extreme right, the only item in their health care "reform" arsenal seems to be to limit patients' rights to win malpractice awards.

This harms consumers and allows improper practices to escape accountability.

Meanwhile, medical corporations file many more suits against patients than patients do against hospitals and doctors. Nobody dares to rein in suits by corporations - because corporations have True Free Speach Now (tm) and all.

Republicans and DLCers in the Illinois legislature passed a law to limit medical malpractice awards. Of course, DLC then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed this bill into law. (And look where his political career is now.)

But now this war against consumers is a mere husk of its former self in Illinois. The Illinois Supreme Court has just abolished the state's arbitrary limits on malpractice awards. That's because the legislature had tried using statutory law to illegally limit courts' judgments with no regard to the plaintiffs' losses.

Someone on DU said it best: If lawmakers are so worried about malpractice awards being too high, why don't they do something about medical errors instead of worrying that people injured by these mistakes get too much money? Is that so hard to understand?

Although the Illinois Supreme Court took a stand for progress by eliminating these limits, the Ohio Supreme Court has gone the other way. Ohio's all-Republican court has created a bizarre loophole that takes away the right of patients to sue in a jury trial or to collect more than $250,000. (This ruling arose from a case in which a man became blind and lost the use of his arms because of medical errors.)

So the people of Ohio have their work cut out for them to remedy this loophole.



  1. You realize lawsuits are part of the reason health care is so expensive and therefore not accessible to hard working people like yourself right?

  2. Like I said, these lawsuits could be avoided if something was done about the mistakes that cause these lawsuits. But that would make too much sense, I guess.