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Medical Malpractice Caps Undermine Jury’s Decision in Texas

Posted by Andrew J. Barovick | Feb 18, 2009 | 0 Comments

“Tort reform” has once again succeeded in kicking a man when he is already down.  According to yesterday's Chron.com , the great state of Texas (known for giving us not only “W,” but our country's highest rate of execution of prisoners) is not such a great place to lose all of your limbs due to a doctor's negligence.  A Dallas jury found an infectious disease physician committed malpractice when the regimen of antibiotics he prescribed to the patient did not include any that treated MRSA, which led to the infection that brought about the loss of limbs. 

The jury wanted to award $17.5 million dollars to the patient, but Texas's caps on pain and suffering prevented him from receiving $10 million dollars of the jury's award, limiting him to a total of $7.5 million dollars.

Considering that the 53-year-old plaintiff cannot care for himself and will need assistance for the rest of his life,  the award envisioned by the jury that heard his case was entirely appropriate.  The caps that deprived him of that award not only lessened the plaintiff's ability to live out the remainder of his life in a dignified manner, but diluted the power of the jury–the body that saw and heard the actual evidence in the case.  Sorry, Texas, but that is downright un-American.

About the Author

Andrew J. Barovick

Mr. Barovick is a graduate of Columbia College and Cardozo School of Law. He began his legal career at the Queens District Attorney’s Office, where he tried over 20 felonies to verdict, and argued an equal number of appeals before the Appellate Division, Second Department, the New York Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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REPRESENTATIVE VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS:

$7.9 million dollars for infant client who suffered severe brain injuries due to post- delivery medical malpractice.

$500,000 wrongful death/medical malpractice settlement on behalf of patient brought to hospital emergency room with serious injuries who suffered complications while unmonitored and died.

$425,000 wrongful death/medical malpractice settlement during trial on behalf of senior hospital patient whose surgeon failed to timely address her worsening symptoms, resulting in her death.

$250,000 to young man whose physician failed to diagnose an impending torsion testicle, causing the loss of the affected testicle.

$200,000 to young mother whose OB/GYN failed to timely diagnose and treat her ectopic pregnancy, resulting in excruciating, long-term pain and the need for surgery to address the ectopic pregnancy once it was diagnosed.

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