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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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Michigan Malpractice Reform: Good For Bad Doctors; Bad for Good Citizens

26 comments

While we at Lawsuit Financial believe, strongly, that Michigan has had more than enough tort reform, House Republicans are considering yet another round of Medical Malpractice reform. If passed in its present form, this unjust legislation would virtually eliminate a patient's or a patient's family's ability recover damages from a negligent doctor. An alleged "physician shortage" is one reason that sponsors of the Draconian legislation provide in support, however, even most doctors (including the American Medical Association) agree that there is no such shortage. A 1995 AMA study found that Michigan has just the right number of physicians to serve those in the population that need health care. As more physicians age and retire while the population ages and needs healthcare, the need for physicians will grow, but sources indicate that the increased need will be "modest".

This proposed legislation will give bad doctors a free pass to commit malpractice. One provision, for example, would exempt a physician from being sued successfully as long as he/she "acts with a reasonable and good faith belief" that he/she acted in the best interests of the patient. Tell that to a patient who had the wrong limb amputated by a 'well-intended', drunk or incompetent, doctor.

Michigan has already gone through serious liability reform. Since the 1990's (when Michigan’s previous major tort reforms were enacted in response to a fabricated "lawsuit crisis") the number of medical malpractice lawsuits have dropped dramatically. Since 2004, there have been less than 500 cases pursued, annually, in Michigan.

Recently, a Michigan colleague of mine, John Perrin, wrote a letter to his State Representative, Kurt Hiese, Republican, District 20, representing the city of Plymouth, MI (about 30 miles west of Detroit). In this letter, he shares a powerful, true story about a case he defended in which a six month old girl received horrifically substandard care. Consequentially, the child suffers from cerebral palsy; this child would be unable to pursue a successful malpractice case under the proposed new law. John is a fine lawyer; he has represented doctors and insurance companies for a large part of his career; since 2004, he has represented injured citizens against wrongdoers, including negligent doctors and hospitals. After you read the letter, whether you are a legislator, an attorney, a doctor, a hospital administrator, a businessman, a judge, or an ordinary citizen, decide for yourself whether this proposed legislation is supportable in a civilized society of fair laws. With John's permission, I present the entire text of his open letter to Representative Heise:

Dear Mr. Heise,

I am writing to express my concern regarding certain bills presently being discussed in the House Insurance Committee. These bills are an attempt to expand current medical malpractice tort reform in Michigan.

From 1990 until 2004, I defended medical malpractice actions on behalf of healthcare providers and facilities. In that time frame, I tried many cases. I never lost a case that I should have won and never won a case that I should have lost. Contrary to public lore, juries actually do make sound decisions. When juries fail, our Court of Appeals is equipped with the authority to remedy those problems.

I primarily defended Obstetricians,Gynecologists and Pediatricians. I was the trial attorney in the landmark case, Craig v Oakwood Hospital, where the Supreme Court established standards for the admission of scientific evidence. I was also defense counsel on many other notable legal rulings in our appellate courts which benefited the healthcare industry.

Now, let me share this with you a true story. One of the last cases that I tried involved a 6 month old girl who was seen in a hospital ER in the Detroit area. Her mother had been to several emergency rooms in the prior days with the same complaints; "my daughter is gasping for air". For her fourth and final trip to the emergency room, she was seen at my client's hospital. The girl's mother again explained that her daughter was gasping for air and more recently, had episodes where she would stop breathing.

The little girl was seen by a foreign born and trained physician who was dishonorably discharged from the US Army as a doctor for providing substandard care. Thereafter he attempted to pass but failed his pediatric board certification exam six (6) times. The total time passage from her examination until she was discharged from the Emergency Department was seven (7) minutes. This doctor prescribed cough medicine without taking a complete history or even performing a medical exam.

Less than 24 hours later, while riding in her car seat in the back of her mother's vehicle, the little girl stopped breathing and then arrested. A passing EMS vehicle came to the mother's aid and resuscitated the girl, but she had already suffered extensive brain damage. As it turns out, she had a very serious childhood respiratory virus that could have been treated but she required hospitalization.

The care she received was substandard. Consequently, that child suffered from cerebral palsy and severe cognitive impairments. She would require extensive care over the course of her long life.

Under HB 5670 (the proposed legislation-MMB), that case could have been dismissed if I had obtained an affidavit from the doctor stating that he had a subjective good faith belief that he was acting in that little girl's best interest. If I had succeeded, the cost of that little girl's care would forever fall on the taxpayer.

That little girl would then require Medicaid and/or Medicare funding for decades. The public school system would be required to provide her with physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and other services until she turned 26 years of age. Thereafter, she would be institutionalized in a nursing home paid for by Medicare until she died at 50 to 70 years of age.

What these bills collectively do is shift the cost of truly negligent medical care from the responsible party, or their insurance company, and onto the taxpaying public. I believe in a society that cares for the elderly and impaired, but this is just ridiculous.

Judges already have the tools to deal with frivolous lawsuits and excessive jury verdicts. Jurors are already very skeptical of most personal injury lawsuits and in reality, jury verdicts rarely reflect the amounts that are paid in settlements reached while appeals are pending. In the case that I described above, a settlement was reached at a fraction of what the jury awarded.

Aside from the cost shifting, HB 5670 would make Michigan a safe haven for doctors like the one I described above. This is just one example; I've seen dozens.

Our current tort reform system is not broken. There are far fewer medical malpractice cases being filed and very few frivolous cases. When settlements are reached with Plaintiff's who received Medicaid and Medicare assistance, these institutions have liens and are guaranteed repayment. The Centers for Medicaid/Medicare Services does not independently pursue negligent healthcare providers for reimbursement on its own.

The fact of the matter is that Michigan has a sound and efficient legal system now that benefits everyone equally.

John M. Perrin P.C.

The Perrin Law Firm

I remind my readers; this is a case that John defended. Defense attorneys always do their jobs and zealously represent their clients, but justice is far more important to them than it is to their clients and their clients' insurance companies. The latter constituencies don't care who they screw as long as they get to keep their (or save) money. And this is what this proposed legislation is about; it is another bailout for Goliath corporations and negligent professionals at the expense of the taxpayers. "Tort reform" has been sought by these wrongdoers for almost 30 years. Bad law, state by state, has been passed, virtually unchallenged by an uninformed citizenry. Only when someone suffers serious injury without ability to pursue the wrongdoer does he/she cry out "injustice".

If you are a Michigan citizen, call, email or write your state representative and state senator. Protest on the steps of the Capital. Tell them if they want to earn your vote, they will vote against this unjust, unfair, legislation. Tell Governor Rick Snyder, if it passes, to veto it, as soon as it reaches his desk. It is high time for the average American, even those not effected by these unjust laws, to stand up and say: "Injustice! Enough is enough!"

Mark M. Bello is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation where he is instrumental in providing cash flow solutions and consulting when necessity of life lawsuit funding is needed during litigation. Mr. Bello has thirty-four years experience as a trial lawyer and 13 years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the litigation funding industry. He is recognized as an expert in this field by ExpertPages.com and ALM Experts. Mr. Bello is a sustaining and Justice PAC member of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Member of the American and Michigan Bar Associations, Member of Public Justice and Public Citizen, Member of InjuryBoard, out-of-state member of the Mississippi Association for Justice and a business associate of the Florida Justice Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Consumer Attorneys of California. His articles have appeared in FindLaw, The West Reporter, The Safety Report, Plaintiff Magazine, Advocate Magazine, Lawyersandsettlements.com, and other fine legal publications.

26 Comments

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  1. up arrow

    I just don’t get why we are even spending time on this but for the sponsor of the bills,a state senator who is a disgruntaled doctor having faced 5 law suits against him and a bad case of ‘conflict of interest’….the statistics are that somewhere between 6-10% of the doctors in MI cause 60-90% of the Medical Malpractice…the good doctors of this state shouldn’t have to subsidize the ones causing the problem…there may have been a problem back in the 80’s or 90’s but that has been taken care of by very strong legislation protecting doctors and hospitals….what we need now is not more privilege and immunity for for them but MORE PATIENT SAFETY consideration….thnx for your post Mark

  2. jc says:
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    Recently a 45 y/o man had a large renal cell cancer on his right kidney. He had the kidney removed and had a rocky post op course, but survived. He returned for a follow up visit out of state and it was discovered that he had a small 1 cm cancer on the left kidney. Alas, that small cancer was seen on a prior CT scan he had that discovered his initial renal cancer prior to his surgery. He then had a partial left nephrectomy to remove the left renal cancer and has done well. End of story? Nope – -gotta get the plaintiff attorneys involved so they get a piece. Our pt contacted the initial hospital and threatened litigation because the initial tumor on his left kidney had been missed. However nothing different would have been done. Had the left renal CA been removed with the right kidney at the initial operation, the patient very well could have gone into renal failure and severely damaged the left kidney and have to be on a transplant waiting list. After years of litigation, the case was eventually dropped. It is this type of frivolous litigation which drives up malpractice insurance costs and the demands that plaintiff attorneys be held accountable for frivolous litigation. By the way, the patient who had renal CA of both kidneys is alive and doing well with his partial left kidney sustaining him with no need for dialysis.I think we need a way of discouraging these frivolous suits and the way to do it is to allow doctors to countersue plaintiff attorneys for frivolous litigation. Allow a jury to decide if the case was frivolous or not. If a jury decides a case was frivolous, allow the doc to sue for punitive damages against the plaintiff’s attorneys. But plaintiff attorneys like Mark Bello and Dave Mittleman do not want that type of liability. They see nothing wrong with an 80% plaintiff attorney failure rate at trial and say there is nothing wrong with the tort law system. I just don’t get why docs cannot get legislation thru the legislature creating a new cause of action to hold plaintiff attorneys accountable for frivolous litigation. Sure would decrease a lot of frivolous lawsuits.

  3. Jessica says:
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    I read the facts of the case cited in Mr. Perrin’s case, JC. Would you call that case “frivolous”? How does the medical profession deal with a bad doctor like that? It seems that you don’t police your own very well. Care to comment? And where do you get this “80% failure” number? Is there a study or something? How many malpractice cases are completed successfully, by settlement or verdict? How many instances of medical malpractice aren’t even pursued by the victims? Wouldn’t those numbers be important if you are going to quote “failure” statistics? Just sayin’

  4. jc says:
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    Got these jury verdict statistics from Pennsylvania from 2005 thru 2010:
    Year #jury verdicts#defense verdicts %defense verd
    2010 163 133 81.6%
    2009 154 131 85.1%
    2008 161 131 81.4%
    2007 185 153 82.7%
    2006 230 191 83.0%
    2005 223 179 80.3%
    As you can see, defendant docs win about 80% of jury verdicts. The docs may win a higher percentage in rural conservative states and a lower percentage in more liberal urban states, but an 80% defense victory rate is pretty usual and I would not have a malpractice defense attorney with a lower defense victory rate. So if the defense wins 80% of the time, it means that the plaintiff attorneys have an 80% failure rate at trial. Would you fly on an airline whose planes crashed and burned 80% of the time?

  5. jc says:
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    Jessica: I wanted to completely answer your many questions. Yes the Perrin little girl case was tragic, but rare. Far more common are frivolous lawsuits resulting in jury verdicts as described in my last post. It is impossible to know how many true malpractice cases are never filed. The medical profession deals with cases like this by doing “peer review” with the case reviewed and appropriate disciplinary actions taken. If a surgeon has too many post op infections he will be monitored and corrective action will be taken. It is probably humanly impossible to go thru a three decade medical career without ever making a mistake.

  6. jc says:
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    Now Jessica, I have some questions for you. We have established that plaintiff attorneys have an 80% failure rate at trial. No other industry in USA has such a high failure rate. Obviously a lot of frivolous malpractice suits are filed and significantly out number legitimate cases. Why wouldn’t plaintiff attorneys strive to improve this miserable failure rate? I mean a lawyer can pass the state bar one day and sue a doc the next day. These are complex litigations and are akin to a doc finishing medical school one day and doing neurosurgery the next day. – -no hospital in the country would allow that! Why won’t the ABA set up some standards or training program to improve the dismal plaintiff attorney failure rate? Why don’t attorneys police their own?

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    JC ur statistics prove how full of @#$% you are…plaintiff attorneys win 100% of the cases they settle for the victims/survivors of MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE that runs rampant in the USA…there are 700,000 docs in the USA who cause 120,000 ‘accidental’deaths,that is 0.171 ‘accidental’ deaths per doc(courtesy of US dept of Health and Human Services)…the number of gun owners in USA is 80,000,000,the number of ‘accidental’ gun deaths is 1,500 which is 0.0000188(courtsey of FBI)…so,statistically docs are approximarely 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners REMEMBER,guns don’t kill people,docs do….

  8. jessica says:
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    But, JC, you rather casually (and calculatingly) neglect to mention that over 90% of all litigation, including malpractice, settles, favorably to the victim. Thus, your 80% figure refers to those leftover cases that doctors who feel that they did nothing wrong decide to go to trial on. And, by your own admission, they even lose 20% of the leftover cases that they were sure they would win! If they settle all of the other winners (because they screwed up and know they are going to lose) BEFORE trial, and lose 20% of those that they thought they should win, haven’t they lost something like 95% of the cases filed? George H W Bush described your math, years ago: “Voodoo Economics”. I am not a lawyer; I am not a doctor (as you are), but I sure know when someone is trying to snow me, and you, sir, are twisting the true facts of litigation outcomes to suit your own selfish purposes. I do not want hacks like the one who treated Mr. Perrin’s unfortunate client treating me and the fact that this person could obtain a license to practice medicine, without appropriate oversight by your profession, speaks volumes about why we doctors being sued for malpractice. If you stop screwing up and improve the policing of those who do, you will stop getting sued. Instead, you blame the victims and the lawyers and demand another bailout from the legislature, at taxpayer expense. Physician: Heal Thyself!

  9. jc says:
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    Jessica and Dave: Those statistics speak for themselves, they were picked up from a legal review of Pennsylvania jury trials. I am sorry they do not conform with your ideas. The fact of the matter is that most malpractice cases against docs are dropped with no payment at all (70%) Of the ones that go to court, at least 80% are won by defendant docs. Most of the cases which I see are cases where the patient has a bad result due to the progression of disease and sometimes patient non-compliance. The pt gets upset because of the bad result and goes to an inexperienced plaintiff attorney who sues the docs and years of litigation later the case gets dropped. An 80% plaintiff attorney failure rate says everything that needs to be said about incompetant plaintiff attorneys filing frivolous malpractice suits. Since the legal profession will do nothing against incompetent plaintiff attorneys, I have a suggestion: Allow docs to countersue plaintiff attorneys who file frivolous malpractice suits. This is a great suggestion as it would force the legal profession to adhere to some standards. Plaintiff attorneys would not take every case that walked in the door and we could significantly reduce malpractice litigation. Since both you and Dave say there are no incompetent attorneys just docs, you should have no problem supporting this approach which will allow a doc to have his day in court against the incompetant plaintiff attorney who brought the frivolous malpractice action.

  10. Mark Bello says:
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    Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

  11. jc says:
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    Jessica: Notice that my last argument was so incisive that Mark Bello was reduced to a blithering idiot. In my experience, Jessica, and in statistics, about 70% of cases filed against docs are dropped with no payment. I was put in charge of managing litigation for a large group and my experience with dropped cases was in the 95% range. That makes sense because plaintiff attorneys frequently “shotgun subpoena” every doc whose name is on the chart. So if you are a radiologist or the pathologist or the internist on a botched knee operation, the plaintiff lawyer’s secretary sees your name on the chart and you get sued, even though you had nothing to do with the operation and you just read the chest x-ray or the path slides. Plaintiff lawyers do this because they are too lazy to do the initial research and hope during the deposition the docs will teach them something. So in the majority of cases, 5-7 docs get sued and 5-6 get dropped and the final one goes to trial and wins 80% of the time. All this would be avoided if the dumb plaintiff attorney would just do some basic research before running off to court to file the lawsuit.

  12. jc says:
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    David the trial statistics I pulled were from a legal article from Pennsylvania. In my experience 95% of suits which occurred against my group were dropped without payment. In your world, you would say you settled 1 in 20 cases so for that lone case I guess you won 100% of the time for that one person. In my book you are losing 95% of the time.
    With statistical logic like Dave’s, is it any wonder that my one year old granddaughter has a better chance of winning a coin flipping contest then a plaintiff attorney does in winning a malpractice case at trial.

  13. Mark Bello says:
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    Dr. Cox: If you wish to have an intelligent discussion about the issue, I am pleased to engage. I have tried to present the facts; the majority of personal injury cases filed, including malpractice cases, are SETTLED. I don’t understand why you refuse to concede that the number of cases settled + the number of cases won at trial (using your numbers, 20%) equals a number far greater than the amount of cases that fail at trial. You keep parading out the same, tired, skewed statistics from one state and suggest that lawyers can somehow make a living filing cases that they always lose (or at least, by your numbers, lose 80% of the time. You KNOW that the statistic is false when considering the settled cases and that is the valid point David was trying to make. Caps on damages (the most frequently used form of tort reform) do not prevent the problem you speak to (the so-called filing of “frivolous cases”). Your proposed solution is to permit doctors to “counter-sue”. I don’t know that a doctor can’t currently do that, if he has a valid argument to make, but I am certain that the system provides for sanctions if an attorney files a “frivolous case”. You refuse to accept the truth of that. For a meaningful contribution to the discussion, at least tell the whole truth and stop citing statistics that only tell a small portion of it. There is no profit for an attorney in filing a “frivolous”/worthless case. The readers can decide which of us is the “blithering idiot”. I don’t think you’re an idiot, I think you are a liar with an axe to grind because you’ve had some bad experiences with the medico/legal system. You would rather punish victims than except responsibility for your own misconduct. That’s what tort reformers do.

  14. jc says:
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    Mark, I will engage in intelligent conversation, but I will tell you, from my experience, most of the time (at least 70%) when a suit is filed, it is dropped without payment. When it goes to court 80% result in defense verdicts. So the frivolous suit case is a significant issue. I have had frivolous suits filed against me and I have been told I have no recourse against the attorney who filed the case. My malpractice attorney said I had a good case against the plaintiff’s attorney, but Judge Reed thru out my complaint along with the original malpractice suit 2 weeks before trial. Judges appear to be very very reluctant to apply sanctions to plaintiff attorneys. This is why I suggest we allow docs to countersue plaintiff attorneys for frivolous litigation and let a jury decide. But the plaintiff’s bar for their own self interest is against this concept.

  15. Mark Bello says:
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    So your sanction/countersuit experience is based upon a large sampling-ONE CASE-in which a judge dismissed the lawsuit against you but refused to allow you to countersue the attorney? And, in your mind, that means that the entire civil justice system, in 50 states, is anti-doctor and pro-lawyer? The problem with your arguments is that you can’t use your own, very limited experience, as a broad example that the system is anti-doctor. The system has checks and balances (as you point out, many cases are dismissed, many fail at trial); the vast majority of cases, whether you are willing to concede it or not, are SETTLED, and those are WINS and must be considered in your statistics. The system has, actually, become very anti-VICTIM over the past 30 years or so and the fact that the majority of cases settle favorably to plaintiffs speaks VOLUMES about the quality of those cases. That continues to be the problem with your analysis and your use of “statistics” to back it up. If the statistical analysis ignores the vast majority of cases resolved (settlements) and only samples what’s left after they have resolved, the statistics are worthless. They make for good “soundbites” for you to make your false points with, but they are still false and, therefore, worthless.

  16. jc says:
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    Mark I can tell you that in the 3 decades of experience I have had, my colleagues and I practice ethically. The vast majority (90%) of the suits we get are frivolous and get dismissed with no payment. Our malpractice attorney tells us that 70-80% of the suits he handles get dismissed. He has encouraged us to fight to trial on non-meritorious suits and we do, in one case going 10 years before final resolution in our favor. You like to bang the drum about incompetent docs, well, if plaintiff lawyers lose 80% of their trial cases and 90% of their cases get dismissed before trial, what about incompetent trial attorneys? Why shouldn’t we docs be allowed to countersue a plaintiff’s attorney for frivolous litigation? It is a waste of our time to have to go thru depositions and expose fraudulent plaintiff expert witnesses year in and year out because the plaintiff attorney doesn’t understand the medicine or the law and you have a dissatisfied patient who is unhappy with her natural disease progression.We all get old and eventually die and that doesn’t mean there was medical malpractice.

  17. Mark Bello says:
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    Dr. Cox: I have almost 4 decades of experience and your personal experience makes no ecomomic sense on the legal side of this debate. It is too expensive to pursue a malpractice case, and, because of unreasonable caps on damages, there is too little upside to pursue even mid level value cases. You need a solid case to pursue; otherwise you are wasting time and money and the vast majority of lawyers know that. Your model lawyer has legal practice model that will bankrupt him. These so-called frivolous filings just do not happen on a grand scale.

    There are incompetants on both sides of the debate. My problem with you is your “holier than thou, doctors do no wrong, it’s all those damn lawyers and victims fault” attitude. If you are the parents of the child in the Perrin letter, you should be able to pursue your case, without limits and the medical profession should pull that doc’s license instead of allowing him to move from country to country and from state to state. If a case is bogus and an attorney brings it anyway, the attorney should be punished. But if a case is solid, there should be no holds barred in punishing the doc. Your “countersuit” suggestion doesn’t bother me much; only in the context of creating a chilling effect on a victim’s decision to proceed. But the vast majority of tort reform has been premised on limiting the amount of damages people can get; how in the hell does a cap on the serious case prevent the filing of the frivolous one? And, since you have, once again, stated these baloney statistics without considering those cases that settle in the plaintiff’s favor, I have to again respond. Your stats are wrong unless the include those cases that settle in the plaintiff’s favor. Trial wins + pre-trial settlements + legitimate cases that can’t be filed because their values do not justify post tort reform legal pursuit far exceed losses and after-filing dismissals.

  18. jc says:
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    Mark, I am going to agree with you on some of the things you say particularly that there are good and bad doctors and plaintiff attorneys. My group seems to get all the dumb plaintiff attorneys and I suspect that is because we practice ethical honest medicine and only an inexperienced plaintiff attorney would file some of these bogus suits against us. I would much prefer to face an experienced attorney because I know when he realizes it is a bogus case, he drops it instead of pouring more money down a rat hole. I agree with you that a cap on damages does not prevent filing frivolous lawsuits. Caps have generally been limited to pain and suffering. It is hard to quantify that. What is the difference between $54,000 and $254K P & S? My problem with pain and suffering damages is that too often they are used in place of punitive damages. But if there is something egregious, punitive damages should be in play. I am glad to hear that you don’t mind docs countersuing plaintiff attorneys for frivolous litigation. If you are doing your legal homework and taking legitimate cases, you do not have to worry about frivolous litigation countersuits. Finally, I gotta tell you that in my world, I do not see greedy docs trying to squeeze the last dime out of the patient, so in my experience, I rarely see settlements or judgement for the patient, the vast majority of legal cases I see (90%) are dismissed.

  19. Mike Bryant says:
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    JC hows the family of the guy you killed doing? Did you stop in to tell them you never told them the truth after what happened?

    How’s the legal consulting business going? Still making money off claims?

    Hope you answer during the day so as not to slur any of your comments.

    Yes, readers, JC has told us many things about himself over time. Still never answered the above questions.

  20. jc says:
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    Bryant baby – -yeh, I am doing fine. Better then some of the incompetent malpractice lawyers I periodically see. I have discussed setting up a Bello fund to fund patients who get screwed by their malpractice attorneys so that they can sue their attorneys for screwing up their cases. I am still working on my book, “How to do Malpractice Law Gooder, A Primer for Malpractice Attorneys” The first chapter talks about basic research. Tips like if the patient complains of metastatic colon cancer and wants to sue the doc, make sure the doc did not tell the patient to get a colonoscopy a year before the diagnosis. Helpful little hints like that could avoid a Bryant malpractice suit. If you would like I could drop some other legal pearls in my book in subsequent posts.

  21. Mike Bryant says:
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    Don’t forget the apology section for the family. I would suspect that will happen in the same way the book never does.

    Your example is interesting. The first question would be, was the suggestion in the records? If it was , than it would make sense that when the case is reviewed that would be looked at. But if it isn’t documented, the question is, did the doctor make up the “facts”? As you often seem to.

  22. jc says:
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    Mike I am sorry if it seems like these facts are made up, but I am telling you that 90% of the cases which I see against my group are dropped. Most recently I was involved in an ER case and I said that the patient had mechanical small bowel obstruction probably due to an adhesion. Two hours later the pt went to surgery for lysis of an adhesion causing mechanical small bowel obstruction. Six months later I am targeted for a malpractice suit which was recently dropped. All the plaintiff’s attorney had to do was read my report to know that I was not involved. So why was I targeted for any litigation in the first place? Happens all the time.

  23. Mike Bryant says:
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    Oh so you are back working again? Did you talk to that family yet? So does saving the one patient make you feel better about the other?

    As to the case, sounds like one that wouldn’t have been brought in Minnesota because of the affidavit rule. But, my guess is that there is another side to the story. Or did the guy guy die also and they should have listened to you earlier?

  24. jc says:
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    Mike, I looked at your web site and something struck me. You imply in these blogs that medical malpractice is just rampant with multi-million dollar verdicts as numberous as apples on an apple tree. So why on your web site are you listed as doing criminal defense and auto accidents and industrial accidents. Heck if it is so simple to pull down a couple million from all the incompetent docs out there every month, why not just specialize in medical malpractice. You could be another John Edwards and run for senate in Minnesota.

  25. jc says:
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    2-3 years ago, an ENT doc did a tonsillectomy on twin 3 year old boys who had recurrent pharyngitis and snoring. The operations went well and both boys were sent home with Tylenol and codeine for pain. Mom slept between the boys when she noticed that one was not breathing. The boy was rushed to the hospital and died. No one knew why, but then Mom asked about the other boy. When she went home, he had also stopped breathing and died. Obviously a malpractice suit occurred. Turned out the boys had a congenital abnormality where the liver produced too much CYP2D6, an enzyme which converts codeine to morphine in the body causing excessive morphine production, toxicity, sedation and in this case death. No other surgeons were aware of this abnormality because it is rare and all surgeons would have acted as the ENT doc did. Yet the plaintiff’s attorneys were able to get some medical “experts” to testify against the ENT doc. This plus jury sympathy produced a $1 million verdict for each dead boy. After the trial, several jurors told the doc that he did nothing wrong but they felt so sorry for the family. Ofcourse the plaintiff attorneys made off with $1 million in legal fees and they were the big winners. The ENT doc had an instant increase in his malpractice rates and had to close his practice, throwing 5 people out of work. The local hospital knew he was a good doc and hired him to work for the hospital because ENTs are scarce, so he is now on salary seeing half the patients and patiently waiting a few years until his malpractice rates go down so that he can find a job elsewhere. This has left such a bad taste in the ENT’s mouth that he can hardly wait to go elsewhere and desert the small town. Isn’t our malpractice system great? Aren’t you glad that you live in a country where guys like Mark Bell and Mike Bryant can seriously damage someone’s career and a community so they can make a buck!

  26. Mike Bryant says:
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    Dr Cox, interesting that you would spend time on my website and then make up what is there.

    As for your second story, It is always sad how light you make of the tragedies that people suffer. (but that is how your treated the family you lied to, wasn’t it?) I can easily assume , because of what happens when your stories are looked at closely, that the case had much information that was left out.
    As for the jurors they didn’t follow the law, if it was sympathy. Although , many times they will tell the person asking what they want to hear, which is why all jury research should be done by a outside group.

    I can see you feel more sorry for the doctor than the mother. So your continued bias shines through.