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The Hypocritic Oath

Posted by Andrew J. Barovick | Feb 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

It's now well established that tort “reformers” and hypocrisy go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Just think back to one of my favorite examples: alleged newsman and tort “reform” champion, John Stossel, who railed against frivolous lawsuits, but had no problem bringing one of his own. It was during one of his hard-hitting, investigative pieces about professional wrestling.  Poor John wanted to reveal the terrible secret about the sport–that it is fixed–even though the only person alive who was unaware of that seems to have been John. Nonetheless, he goaded one of the pros into bitch-slapping him (Stossel) upside the head during an interview , and promptly sued for “damages.”

But the hypocrisy takes on a deeper resonance when it comes from a physician tort “reformer” who specifically condemns “frivolous” medical malpractice suits, after having been a defendant in a meritorious action or two.  And here I'm talking about the GOP's own Rep. Phil Gingrey, of California.   Injury Board shares the details in this recent post.  Yes, Dr. Gingrey and his colleagues treated an OB patient less than optimally, to put it charitably, and were responsible for allowing her fetus to die, and the patient to suffer a debilitating stroke.  So naturally, he would  sponsor a bill that would arbitrarily cap damages, restrict legal fees for lawyers handling medical malpractice cases, and bar the ability to obtain punitive damages against negligent drug and device makers when the product has been FDA-approved.

Those darned, frivolous medical malpractice suits can be such a bother–especially when your failures as a physician are what instigates them.  Thanks, Phil, and keep up the good work!

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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$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.