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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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Exposing the Perils of Texas Tort Reform

37 comments

According to Bob Moss, spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, two serious violations, one resulting in death, triggered an inspection of Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. The violations related to infection control and emergency care issues putting Parkside in “immediate jeopardy” status, “the most severe finding in a hospital”, said Moss. If Parkland does not provide acceptable correction plans by August 20, 2011 and complete those plans by August 24, 2011, it will be unable to participate in the Medicare program.

If that doesn’t jolt Texans into understanding what Governor Rick Perry is doing to the state consider this:

Texas neurosurgeon, Stefan Konasiewicz is on trial in Minnesota stemming from a medical malpractice and negligence lawsuit. Konasiewicz has left a trail of medical incompetence in Minnesota that has resulted in nine medical malpractice lawsuits, some involving patient deaths, as well as a public reprimand by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice. Rather than face the music in Minnesota, Konasiewicz fled to Texas where lax oversight and an unjustly reformed legal system allowed him to practice medicine.

How does this happen? The Texas Medical Board (TMB) is not required to disclose cases of medical malpractice when a doctor moves from another state. In fact, they are not required to look into cases. You read that correctly, the Texas Medical Board does not check to see if a doctor moving from another state has a track record of seriously injuring or killing patients. The responsibility to disclose malpractice cases rests solely on the doctor. If the doctor does not report his/her own medical negligence, patients are left in the dark. And, it gets better. Thanks to Governor Perry, if you are injured, or worse, it is nearly impossible to seek justice because the state tort reform severely reduces a doctor’s accountability for negligence. Feel safe now?

According to the TMB, all state medical boards have full access to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), which lists malpractice cases and disciplinary actions taken against doctors, but because the NPDB charges for queries it is rarely, if ever done. Why? Because it would cost the state an estimated $160,000 a year to check on every doctor licensed in the state. There you have it; in Texas, your life is not worth $160,000.

Sadly, Texas has become a safe haven for dangerous doctors. They can erase previous harm done in another state, then avoid accountability for harm caused in the future. If you were a doctor with a history of committing malpractice, wouldn’t you move to Texas? Unfortunately for Texas, until anti-justice tort reformers are legislatively reversed these stories won’t stop.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

37 Comments

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  1. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    You wrote “in Texas your life is not worth $160,000.”

    May I take the liberty and go one step further and state, in Texas your life is not worth a plug nickle under the 2003 Texas Tort Reform Act.

    The only way family members will ever get retribution and justice for negligence caused by incompetent doctors is to take justice in their own hands. Unfortunately, getting retribution and justice through the judicial system is no longer a viable option because of the 2003 Tort Reform Act Governor Rick Perry signed.

    I dare anyone seeing the video I had to make in order to (excuse my language) piss off the hospital that allowed my husband to rot in their emergency room without administering even the Basic Standard of Care. Nobody was accountable in the scenario my video documented, and even after three years, if they think I walked away from what happened, they are sadly mistaken.

    If you have 9 minutes to watch a video, Google Cleveland Mark Mitchell, then click on youtube Cleveland Mark Mitchell December 12 1950 – April 26 2008.

    Thank you for your time,

    cilla Mitchell

    A Texas nurse and vet

  2. Jim O'Hare RPLU AIC IAS says:
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    Good morning- I can see that you are all wound up re Texas and it all must be rotten to the core.

    Debakey and Cooley invented heart transplants and aortic graft technology. SW Med School in Dallas has several Noble laureates. Md Anderson is a world class Cancer Hospital. I am from NY originally and recall as a kid regarding all of the innovation from Texas.

    The Texas congresswomen, shot in the head, came to Houston for Rehab. So did Dr. K from Minnesota. Really do not know the full story there. If he is insured, maybe there is more to the story. Just throwing a little balance your way. Dont throw the baby out with the diaper. Maybe another Denton Cooley moved to Texas.

    RE unjust reforms. There are reforms that were voted on and passed. Your disagreement with them does not make them unjust.

    There are hundreds more docs in Texas, specifically due to reforms. They must all be criminals running away from the law in other states like Minnesota. Is that remotely fair or just unjust?

    The eradication of medical errors is an admirable but unreachable goal and can only be addressed one case at a time.

    Regards
    Jim OHare RPLU AIC AIS
    Dir of Claims
    Medicus.

  3. Mark Bello says:
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    Interesting that the vast majority of the positive things you mention came BEFORE Rick Perry and tort reform. I’m sure that there are many fine doctors in Texas. The good ones, the ones who don’t get sued, time and again, do not lobby for tort reform, except in the context of their malpractice insurance rates.

  4. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    Jim,

    You are changing the subject and preaching to the choir. I am very well aware of the medical advances and contributions from this state.

    As Mr. Bello stated, this was before Rick Perry and tort reform.

    Yes Jim, when people are not held accountable for what they do or not do because laws make it impossible to get accountability, I guess that tends to put a fire up my gluteal maximus.

    Thank you,

    Cilla Mitchell

  5. up arrow

    The Dallas Morning News also ran a front page story last Fall about a woman who got an infection after knee surgery at Parkland and ended up having most of her leg amputated. (One of the findings of the inspection team from CMS was that the lack of hand-washing was endangering the patients.) She could not find a lawyer to represent her because of the caps on damages. Even sadder is that she was a long time employee of Parkland Hospital. Shameful!

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    The evidence continues to mount. Jamie Stengle, of the Associated Press, reports in Forbes – [http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/08/10/general-tx-parkland-hospital-medicare-threatened_8617785.html]that a Texas hospital has become so unsafe for patients that the Feds may step in –

    “The federal government said after an inspection at Parkland Memorial Hospital found conditions that were a “serious threat” to patient safety, the public hospital will not be able to participate in the Medicare program without coming up with correction plans.

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in a letter sent to Parkland Tuesday that if it doesn’t provide acceptable correction plans by Aug. 20 and complete those plans by Aug. 24, the Dallas County hospital will no longer be part of the Medicare program as of Sept. 2.

    “It is rare for the government to take such action,” CMS spokesman Bob Moos said Wednesday. “Two Parkland violations relating to infection control and emergency care issues are so serious that they triggered `immediate jeopardy’ status. That is the most severe finding we can have in a hospital, and it requires immediate attention.”

    I hate to disappoint the medical industry apologists like Jim O’Hare, but they are puttuing patient lives at stake by continuing to waste energy deceiving the public about the injuries and deaths that are rising as a result of tort reform. Instead they should be telling doctors and hospitals to clean up their acts, get rid of the reckless incompetent doctors and spend the money necessary to make hospitals safe. Do they really think the public believes that they can’t make money? Come on. The doctors in Honolulu are among the most well paid citizens of this state, their kids go to private school, they live in the best neighborhoods and their 401k’s are plush with money. The folks who run the hospitals are also doing very well. I applaud folks like Rep. Renee Ellmers (R. N.C.) who is asking to looking into hospital safety as a way of stemming injury and death from medical errors. See: Bret Hanna’s article:

    http://saltlakecity.injuryboard.com/medical-malpractice/a-right-correct-thinking-republican.aspx?googleid=293166

    I give my full support lawsuit reduction by safety improvements and prevention, not by giving bad doctors and hospitals a break with tort reform. Come on Texas. You have some of the most famous medical centers in the world and Texas doctors have changed the world with new life saving techniques. But you have a problem, created by tort reform, that is sullying the reputation of the profession, and will steer patients away from your hospitals. Who from the Texas medical profession will speak up and put patient safety above profits?

  7. Avenger says:
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    If an attorney will not take a case because of a damages cap, what that really tells you is that they are ONLY in it for the money, and platitudes like “For The People” (used by a prominent FLorida ambulance chaser) is nothing more than a slogan

  8. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    Avenger:

    It takes money to take on a case. No lawyer will take a case they think they can not win.

    If a case has a monetary cap on it placed by the Tort Reform Act and it takes more money than that to generate it, it is not economically feasible.

    I have to apologize Avenger, I am a nurse and not a lawyer. I have stepped out of my element. However, in a short period of time right after my husband was expeditiously killed in the UTMB ER in Galveston, Texas, many lawyers told me every reason why they could not take the case. It all had to do with Tort Reform.

  9. Mark Bello says:
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    Avenger: Your use of the phrase “ambulance chaser” tells me where your sympathies lie. Do lawyers do what they do and expect to be paid for it? Yes. So do doctors. Do the good ones in both professions do what they do to help real people with real problems? Absolutely. Why don’t you research how much money Dr. K made for all of the surgeries he botched? That an attorney makes money, incidentally, while helping someone who has gone through a terrible, completely preventable, ordeal, is not the point. The bad doctors can move to more “bad doctor friendly” venues to continue to botch surgeries is dangerous and scary. It reminds me of how Church heirarchy used to transfer pedophile priests (without notice of prior conduct to the new community) after these predators molested children. Which is worse? A repeat offender, bad doctor, or a lawyer who makes a fee for helping one of his victims? If you can’t answer that question appropriately, there is no hope for you. All people like you can do is keep voting for tort deform morons like Rick Perry and hope that you never run into the likes of Dr. K.

  10. Avenger says:
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    My sympathies are are with justice – nowhere in my post did I advocate creating safe havens for bad doctors (or pedophile priests, for that matter). Unfortunately sometimes there is no justice to be had without creating another injustice, and I have never believed that “two wrongs make a right”.

    I also have never advocated caps on economic damages and to the extent that tort reform creates caps on economic damages, I am opposed to that sort of tort reform. However, I am also opposed to the wild west environment that our civil litigation system has become, and I think installing “loser pays” and eliminating “contributory negligence” and “joint and several liability” in those states where those antique doctrines still exist, would do a lot toward restoring accountability to the system.

    p.s – you may think that there is “no hope” for me but I’m exactly the kind of person you’d like to have as a next door neighbor – quiet, keeps to myself,doesn’t try to duck jury duty (I’ve served six times), never been arrested for anything but there for my friends and neighbors in an emergency (I lost count of the number of trees I removed or helped remove from people’s cars and driveways in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley in 2004 andsince then

  11. Mark Bello says:
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    OK, maybe you’re a nice guy. But why must you use phrases like “ambulance chaser” and “wild west environment”? A seriously disabled plaintiff sues a bad doctor or polluting corporation for causing his injury/disability and these “deep pocket” defendants try to use their economic power to grind him into the dust. Remember, he’s injured, disabled, no money coming in, and he is litigating with millionaires and billionaires. Without a lawyer willing to handle the case, with his/her own money, on a contingency fee basis, the victim wouldn’t be able to pursue the justice you say you stand for. Where’s the “injustice” in a lawyer getting paid for his/her service? Where’s the accountability for those who injure, maim, kill and pollute? In the courtroom, that’s where. And when you remove those legal dotrines that assist all citizens in holding them accountable, you make them less accountable and all of us less safe from their misconduct. “Loser pays” is not an equitablle concept; it’s proportional effect is far greater on one side than the other. “Joint and several liability” may be unfair to one defendant or another, but it is far better than allowing an innocent victim to be punished, instead. What is the other of the “two wrongs” that you refer to? That an attorney gets paid for his service? You can claim to be “pro-justice” all you want, but your words suggest otherwise. Tort reform is, simply, corporate welfare in exchange for political campaign support. And the loser who pays, every time, is the seriously injured victim.

  12. Michael Klein says:
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    What I would like to see are statistics. Are medical outcomes less likely to be good in Texas than elsewhere? In particular, look at specific medical procedures. For example, are survivor rates from radiation treatment from breast cancer significantly lower in Texas? Success rates from triple-bypass surgery? Is the rate of serious complaints of poor care higher? If Texas has a raal problem with poorer outcomes, it may not need to undo tort reform, but it will definitely need to intensify it’s supervision of doctors.

  13. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    Michael:

    Would you believe statistics presented by the insurance industry that stands behind Tort Reform? Remember, insurance is in it for the profits. Or, would you believe statistics from hospitals that have a vested interest in keeping the patient community safe? Of course statistics on medical mal practice went down in Texas. First of all, if there are laws preventing accountability, then the figures will be lower. Most of the statistics are presented by the insurance industry. Statistics can be manipulated by people or agencies trying to make their point.

    You are also asking about medical outcomes from treatments and procedures. Medical outcomes from treatments and procedures have variables. If the variables are outside the scope of the procedure or treatment, for example, a hospital acquired infection, then the hospital usually takes on the responsibility and initiates an investigation.

    You sited an example of survival rates from radiation in the treatment of breast cancer and if the rates are significantly lower. Again, there are variables. General health of the patient with or without other medical issues, age, the type of treatment the doctor orders, and so on.

    I do not think the answer is to intensify supervision of doctors. The answer is to have medical boards that can police substandard doctors without laws preventing them from doing their job. The Tort Reform Act has an impact on medical boards.

  14. Michael Klein says:
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    Response to Celia Mitchell:

    When doing statistical research, it’s always good to start with raw data rather than rely on someone else’s statistical analysis. If you are going to use someone else’s statistical analysis, you need to know the source of the raw data, what assumptions were made, what statistical tests were used, etc. Much better to go to the raw data and do the analysis yourself.

    When comparing medical outcomes, it is very important to compare equals and to control as many variables as possible so that only one variable (location) is changing between two groups. If I would looking at two groups of breast cancer patients, one in Texas and one in Massachusetts, I would want to make sure that in all other respects they were similiar: in age, income, health, stage of cancer, prognosis, treatment, etc. Otherwise, the results of the such a study would tell me nothing about whether a cancer patient tends to live longer in one state rather than in another. But if the two groups were similiar, than the results might be meaningful but only if they can be reproduced in other studies.

    I think you and I agree that more oversight of doctors is necessary. But you fail to explain how the Tort Reform Act prevents such oversight.

  15. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    Michael:

    I am sorry Michael, but I do not agree that more oversight of doctors is necessary. The Medical Boards in each state were structured to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare . Medical Boards in each state have missions.
    However, Tort reform in Texas states that in order for emergency rooms physicians to be responsible for civil damages they have to act with “willful and wanton” negligence. Or, I guess you can also call it malice. This is written in such a way, it is impossible to prove. Much in the same way you can’t prove your wife or girlfriend is faking an orgasm.

    Oversight of doctors is not the answer.

  16. Mark says:
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    Avenger:

    I laughed when you mentioned “antique doctrines”.

    Have you ever read the 7th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? If you haven’t, it entitles citizens to a civil jury trial.

    That right to a civil jury trial is antique, so under your logic, we might as well throw it out the window and re-write the Constitution again.

    Also, you want to get rid of joint and several liability??? Are you serious?

    You obvious never had to deal with a sociopathic business which refuses to provide assistance to a paralyzed victim. Further, in some states, if the victim was more than 50% at fault for his injuries, his lawsuit is thrown out of court. That later doctrine provides the needed balance.

    Loser pays is laughable. If you get hit by a drunk, texting, truck driver of a major corporation who had 2 DUI convictions when he was hired and you still lose the case for whatever reason, do you think you can pay the legal fees of the army of lawyers representing that corporation?

    They would be worth more than your house.

    BTW ambulance chasers are the ones who advertise on TV 24/7. I have no respect for a lawyer who advertises constantly, unless it is for something specific like drugs which have caused more damage than they are worth, to say the least.

    Unfortunatly, I can not do anything about those clowns who advertise 24/7 because the Supreme Court in 1977 found that behavior a first amendment right.

    I am 100% for common sense reforms like requiring an expert, (many times a medical professor) to okay a lawsuit against a doctor, or throwing a lawsuit out if the plaintiff was more than 50% responsible, but simpleton concepts like caps do nothing but stomp on the 7th amendment.

  17. Mark says:
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    Michael:

    In this country, juries hold people accountable. Again, I cite to the 7th amendment:

    “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.”

    If you want a medical tribunal system, perhaps Cuba would be a better option for you.

    Destroying that Constitutional right and allowing doctors to oversee other doctors is equivalent to the fox guarding the henhouse. Further, medical boards already have a bad reputation regarding placing leashes on incompetent doctors.

  18. Avenger says:
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    The same could be said for letting the legal profession regulate itself. Here in the “Sunshine State” a lawyer, realizing that he had let the statute of limitations expire, backdated a letter to his client advising her that he was dropping her as a client and then she should retain other counsel if she wished to continue pursuing her claim. She did other retain counsel (to pursue a claim against her first attorney) and do you know what Draconian punishment was meted out against this wayward attorney. His license was suspended for ONE year I can provide you his name if you want to look it up.

    He should have been disbarred for life ( an insurance company adjuster who did anything comparable would lose their occupational license permanently).

    Moreover, in many states, bar disciplinary actions are kept secret from the public. I say let the medical profession supervise the legal profession and the legal profession supervise the medical profession – both would improve immeasurably

  19. Mark Bello says:
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    I agree with most of what the “other Mark” has said, but I don’t understand the Avenger response. What does this naughty lawyer have to do with the legislative trampling of the 7th Amendment? What does it have to do with the assault on citizens’ rights by bought and paid for legislators on behalf of billion dollar corporations? The answer, of course, is “nothing”. I get the connection to “doctors policing doctors”; perhaps neither profession should police itself. But, however professions are screened is irrelevant to the injustice known as “tort reform”.

  20. Avenger says:
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    I really have no problem with the 7th Amendment right to a jury trial in criminal matters but I have no doubt that the Founding Fathers would be appalled by the jury system as it is applied to civil matters. I have sat through, observed and been a part of many a voir dire process watching any juror with any intelligence systematically eliminated from jury service.

    Theoretically, I believe in the jury system, but not as it is administered today. Jury duty should be mandatory, with few excuses to avoid it. There should be not preemptory strikes, only strikes for cause, and jurors should receive a reasonable amount of pay for jury service, if not being paid their regular salary by their employer. Jurors who are self-employed tend to try to get cases over with quickly since jury duty is costing them real money for each day they serve.

    The tort reform movement basically did not exist forty years ago, but as the trial bar and the liberal media successfully created our current cult of victimhood and courts usurped legislative functions and expanded theories of liability, it was inevitable that civil defendants would seek relief from the legislature branches of government. I don’t really know much about the legal environment in Texas, but here in Florida (other than professional liability cases), until recently, if you were a civil defendant, you were screwed

  21. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    When Governor Rick Perry signed the 2003 Texas Tort Reform Act, he made it almost impossible for civil defendants to get accountability under the law for medical malpractice. There is no justice, there is no accountability. In Texas, you do not even have to deliver care in emergency rooms. Period. This is probably one of Governor Rick Perry’s plans to decrease spending in the medical community once, God help us all, he becomes President. Save money in the medical community by giving “no care.”

    If the people in Florida are getting screwed, the people in Texas are getting a royal you-know-what.

    My definition of what Tort Reform is, a lethal weapon used to murder citizens without accountability.

    When I sent a documented video I had to make documenting in a chronological time line the 17 1/2 hour horrific ordeal my husband spent in the ER receiving no care to every government agency in Texas, including the Texas Supreme Court, and never got a response from anyone, then it made my video credible because not one person threatened to take me to court for slander because it was the truth.

  22. Mark Bello says:
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    Avenger: You “true colors” are now shining brightly. The “trial bar”, “liberal media” and a “cult of victimhood” are to blame for the world’s ills?! How about incompetant doctors? How about polluting corporations? How about defective product makers? How about farming product making out to sweat box establishments in 3rd world countries? How about the dastardly “cicle the wagons” behavior of insurance companies when an injured person has the audacity to file a “claim”, seeking protections that he/she has paid premiums for, for years? How about massive campaign contributions to finance those who would put “profits over people”, in general? Victim compensation increases, if any, are due, in large part, to unchecked, outrageously negligent, corporate conduct. You read about big awards and big punishments, but you don’t read the final story, where tort reform reduces and restricts those awards to the point of having no effect on conduct prevention and safety, leaving real compensation to the taxpayers. Stop worrying about the corporations (your so-called “civil defendants”) and start worrying about your fellow citizens. They have only the truth and a brave trial lawyer, willing to fight for no money and only a share of the limited success today’s reformed laws allow, on their side. Litigation today is truly a David v. Goliath undertaking, with the corporations having all the power and money on their side, buttressed by unneeded assistance from our state and federal legislators. Study the BP disaster; study State Farm’s “storm vs. flood” behavior in Katrina or study corporate America’s delay-deny-crush response to claims litigation in general; then come back and talk to me about the poor, poor “civil defendants”. As one of your anti-citizen colleagues used to say: “Give me a break”!

  23. Avenger says:
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    What would you like broken ??

    Not every civil defendant, or even most of them, are big bad corporations – it is the little guy, the mom and pop operation that really gets screwed, but in order to get after the big boys, you are perfectly willing to throw the little guys under the bus. I’ve seen it happen over and over again, inclusing to friends of mine. But that’s okay becase the little guys support tort reform too, and deserve to be crushed. Nicht wahr ?

  24. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    Clarification:

    I meant plaintiff, in a civil action, not defendant. I also meant “if Governor Perry becomes President,” not “when he becomes President.”

    Avenger,

    You stated, the little guys support Tort Reform too. Unfortunately, this may be true to some degree because of all the spin the insurance industry is churning out with statistics manipulated by them in their favor and with the mainstream media reporting the fabricated spin to the public. Nobody takes the time to ask, “who actually financed these studies?”

    “The little guys” will find out when it is too late the true definition of Tort Reform, when one of their loved ones dies and nobody is “responsible.”

  25. Mark Bello says:
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    Avenger: Are you kidding me? Plaintiffs and their contingency based attorneys are looking to crush the little guy? Really? To what financial benefit? Your arguments border on the ridiculous. “Tort Reform” is not a mechanism for the protection of the “smaller” defendant. “Mom & Pops” are not on the radar screen of those who seek to unjustly reform the system. (They are not a target of most lawyers, either) The measures implemented, the caps installed, do not protect “little” defendants.These so-called reforms are designed ONLY to protect the asses of the big boys and their multi-billion dollar profits at the expense of those they seriously injure and kill. What numbers does it take for an injured plaintiff to “screw” a “Mom and Pop”? What did these “Moms and Pops” do that got them sued? What was the damage to the victims? Why don’t you come clean and tell our readers who you really are and what corporate interests you are representing? I don’t hide behind an alias; why do you?

  26. Paul says:
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    and the scary part is, the instigator of all of this “reform” is about to run for president. I don’t know whether to celebrate him leaving our state or lament the possibility of him being dictator of the entire country.

  27. Avenger says:
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    1) self-employed

    2) I do not “hide” behind an alias – Avenger is a nom de plume. In the past these were used to protect the author from retribution for his or her writings. These days potential employers and customers use the internet to research individuals and I would hate to lose a contract or a customer because they disagreed with my politics. My work should be judged on its quality alone, not on my religious preference, ethnicity or political leanings.

  28. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    Avenger:

    In reply to the reason you choose to have a nom de plume (my last post was probably rejected because of language, rightly so), so in order for this to go through, I will quote Sir Winston Churchill,

    “You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something in your life.”

  29. Mark Bello says:
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    Avenger: Self employed in what industry? Expose yourself! Man up!

  30. Mark Bello says:
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    Paul: Amen, brother!

  31. Avenger says:
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    Nice quote from Churchill, Ms. Mitchell, although from reading Winston’s writings, and my knowledge of his poitical career, I suspect Sir Winston might have supported tort reform if it had been an issue during his lifetime

    You might remember that the John Jay, James Madison and ALexander Hamilton made use of the nom de plume “Publius” in their advocacy of the ratifying The United State Constitution. I guess by your reckoning they weren’t standing up for anything

  32. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    Avenger:

    When people have to hide their true beliefs or opinions in fear of reprisal, then we lost the only important reason for living, our freedom.

    Say goodbye to your freedom Avenger, if Governor Rick Perry gets elected because he made darn sure Texans are no longer able to get accountability through the tort reform acts he signed.

  33. Michael Klein says:
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    I agree with Avenger. People have a right to post their opinions anonymously. I don’t feel that need but if others do, that’s fine with me.

    I notice a lot of emotion going through this discussion. I think we need to step back and ask ourselves:

    1) Is tort reform giving a license to doctors to practice bad medicine?

    2) Is tort reform preventing victims of bad medicine from being compensated fairly? (Of course, the answer to that depends on your definition of “fair compensation”.)

    If the answers to those two questions are “No”, then tort reform might be a good thing. If one of those answers is “Yes”, Texas might have a problem.

  34. Mark Bello says:
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    Michael: It is certainly his right to remain anonymous. It is also my right to presume that, because he chooses anonymity, he is aligned with corporate/insurance interests that seek to restrict citizen access to the civil justice system. He is one of Mitt Romney’s corporations. After all, they are people too, don’t you know?

  35. Anna Mae Rooks says:
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    My son was killed by his cardiologist and a gastroenterologist. They both knew that his abdominal pains were “as a direct result of right-sided heart failure”. Another caardiologist made the discovery and set forth a treatment plan and a list of medications that would help and commented he would “reevaluate next year. Instead of treating his heart, the two numbskull doctors decided to perform an unnecessary endoscopy. Both knew my son had previous problems with IV sedation, but they were more than willing to place his life in jeopardy for an unnecessary procedure. As a result, my son went into cardiopulmonary arrest and eventually died. What did the endoscopy fine? “NO ABNORMALITIES WERE FOUND.” This was NOT a mere “mistake” or the unpreventable slip of a scalpel; it was a conscious, deliberate decision to put my son’s life at risk which both KNEW or should have known, would be life-threatening. They did it for the money. Texas Medical Board took no action, stating there was “no evidence lab results were withheld.”

    They treated my son’s death like he was a bug the doctors stepped on and kicked out of the way.

    The actions of the doctors seem to be covered under the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 6 – Culpability and I intend to try and hold them accountable through the criminal justice system. A doctor should not be protected when it can be proven that a patient died as a direct result of dr.’s recklessness and gross negligence. What’s the difference if a drunk gets behind the wheel and kills an innocent party and a doctor gets in the O.R. and kills an innocent patient? No difference. My son’s death was preventable. They used him like a cash cow. He had more than 119 x-rays in the 70 days before he finally died. Two were taken while he was dying.

    This is one of the “frivolous” cases Perry & his cohorts refer to. Med/mal victims, ESPECIALLY in death cases, deserve access to the criminal courts and let a jury decide, not Perry, not doctors, not insurance companies.

  36. Anna Mae Rooks says:
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    Victims and survivors need to band together. We have NO ONE to represent us. I’m trying to organize victims & survivors and try to get things changed. If interested, email me at maerooks@aol.com There is strength in numbers. We should not have to suffer in silence.

  37. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    Ms Anna Mae Rooks:

    You are right. People should organize and make their voices heard and speak for those who no longer can be heard.