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Update On Affront To Victims of Medical Negligence

Posted by Andrew J. Barovick | Mar 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Big Boys of the print media are catching on to the injustice that may result if proposed anti-consumer legislation is passed in Albany.  First, the usually conservative Forbes Magazine gives a begrudging nod to a powerful, yet sober post from Eric Turkewitz, author of the New York Personal Injury Law Blog. The Forbes post is entitled “New York Mulls Caps on Medical Malpractice Verdicts.”  If you click on the Forbes link, you'll get to a link to Eric's blog, which is well worth the read. Or just go here .

Less surprising, but equally welcome, are two editorials in today's New York Times. One is entitled “ A Bad Deal on Malpractice. ”  It's point is pretty simple.  The proposed caps “will unfairly punish patients badly injured by medical negligence.” Instead, the best way to address the problematic malpractice system “is to greatly reduce the errors and bad outcomes that can lead to malpractice suits.”

The other editorial is entitled “ Medicaid and the N.Y. Budget: Sensible Cuts, and Little Political Flak.” In it, the Times writes: “We urge lawmakers to force out a misguided cap on malpractice awards–a provision engineered by hospital leaders that would deprive many injured patients of fair compensation.”

The idea that improving on patient safety will reduce costs of litigating medical malpractice cases isn't new, and I mentioned it again in a recent post . Perhaps what is new is that the facts underlying patient-safety success stories are getting new attention, possibly because of the stellar reputations enjoyed by institutions such as NY's own NY Weill Cornell Medical Center, where OB/GYN errors and the costs associated with responding to them in court decreased astronomically in response to its own program (see highlighted post).

Let's keep the facts, and the victims, in mind, as we continue to follow news surrounding this unfortunate legislative effort.

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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