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Medical “Justice,” or Just Us?

Posted by Andrew J. Barovick | Dec 17, 2010 | 0 Comments

Have you heard about Medical Justice ?

Trusted.MD abhors it. It's worth reading why.

Ron Miller, at the Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog, sees it as a cash cow run by fear-mongering MDs looking to profit off their professional brethren's insecurities.  Ironically, the folks who run Medical Justice, like their spiritual cousins, the tort “reformers,” devote extraordinary time and effort to fanning the flames of fear–of medical malpractice lawsuits; of medical malpractice crises; of the “clear” relationship between a malpractice claim, and the complete collapse of your reputation as a physician.

e-Patient Dave find its purpose to be repulsive.  And his discussion of a major tenet of Medical Justice's benefits package, the stomping out of patients' reviews of their medical care, just in case the reviews are negative, provides ample justification for his disgust.

Medical Justice has been around for years now, and even the WSJ Health Blog has taken note of it's aim to have patients sign away their rights to complain about poor care.  In fact, as is pointed out in WSJ's post, more and more of us are finding documents encouraging us to sign away our patient rights when we go to a new doctor's office.

But one of the more insidious “benefits” provided by Medical Justice is this.  The company will engage in active intimidation and character assassination of plaintiff's lawyers, and expert medical witnesses who testify for plaintiffs in medical malpractice suits.  Oh, of course that's not how they characterize this benefit.  To Medical Justice, these are just “effective response strategies.”

But Martha Gold, a plaintiff's attorney whose own case was affected, provides t he view of Tom Moore and Matt Gaier ,who wrote about the challenges plaintiffs are facing in bringing actions to court–among them, those from Medical Justice.

And the whole thing is ugly: anti-1st Amendment; and anti-American. While the company claims to have provided a lot of “security” for MDs, it seems to have generated an awful lot of “security,” in terms of profit, for itself in the process, based on little of substance, and on a lot of “We've got your back, Doc,” complete with color-coded charts to drive home the graded levels of intimidation you can purchase.

So, really, who is benefitting here? Not patients who are gagged.  Not MDs who have been frightened into purchasing “benefits” that are unlikely to be enforced, and which might not  “protect their online reputations.”  No, the benefits all flow to the owners of Medical Justice.  Just them.

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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