Sunday, September 6, 2009

"How much is a life worth? Debate rages on medical malpractice caps"

The Palm Beach Post has an article about Rapheal v. Schecter (4D08-432), currently pending before the Fourth District. [Click here for the case docket].  The article in the Palm Beach Post is titled "How much is a life worth? Debate rages on medical malpractice caps" and states:
The Palm Beach County jury awarded his widow, Nadine, $10.3 million.
But because of limits the Legislature imposed on how much people can collect for pain and suffering in medical malpractice lawsuits, the judgment was reduced to $781,000.
By the time Nadine Raphael pays roughly $440,000 in medical bills, her attorneys and the tens of thousands of dollars they spent on experts to prove the case, she will get nothing, said her attorney Scott Henratty.
"The legislation that was enacted has had the intended effect," said Boca Raton attorney Michael Mittelmark. "We've seen fewer cases and fewer frivolous cases."
To get the Fourth District Court of Appeal to toss the caps, Raphael's attorneys have to persuade it that the medical malpractice crisis was trumped up by a Republican governor and Republican-led legislature that long sided with doctors and insurance companies against what they portrayed as greedy trial lawyers.

Mittelmark, the Florida Medical Association, the Florida Hospital Association and the Florida College of Emergency Physicians scoff at such claims. In court briefs, they all point out that the caps were enacted after a year-long study by a task force of university presidents appointed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush. While it made 60 recommendations of steps that could be taken to reel in medical malpractice insurance rates that it claimed were driving doctors from the state, it said caps were the key.
Jane Musgrave, at the Palm Beach Post, wrote the article quoted above which can be found here.

Disclaimer: George N. Meros and GrayRobinson, P.A. filed an amicus brief in the Fourth District Court of Appeal in this action.


Post a Comment