Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Medical Malpractice Issue Calls for Meet in the Middle

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Medical Malpractice Issue Calls for Meet in the Middle

Article excerpt

Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage, Times-Union columnist

State Sen. Steve Wise, after listening to a stream of people offer opinions on all sides of the medical malpractice insurance issue, said it will "take the wisdom of Solomon" for the Legislature to come up with a solution during a four-day special legislative session that begins Monday.

Rep. Stan Jordan put it another way. When you agree with everyone, he said, you know it's going to be difficult to find a workable answer.

Doctors appearing during a meeting of the Duval Legislative Delegation on Wednesday certainly made a compelling case.

Skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates are forcing them to abandon their practices. They go to work afraid that a mistake will cost them their homes, their savings, their livelihoods. They are leaving Florida in droves and telling other doctors not to move here.

For many of the physicians, the answer is a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in malpractice cases, which is being pushed by Gov. Jeb Bush. With the cap, they argue, insurance companies will be able to lower rates.

But victims of medical malpractice made just as compelling a case that such a cap would be unfair.

A former college baseball coach told the delegation about his wife dying because of medical malpractice.

"I lost my wife of 30 years because of a tragic mistake," he said. "It should not have happened.

"I dare any of you to look me in the eye and tell me what my wife was worth. I don't believe you have the cajones to do it."

And what about the example of a young woman, just married, who is looking forward to having babies? Because of medical negligence, she ends up unable to have children.

She can still work so there is no loss of wages. Her health insurance covers her medical expenses. The only damages she could collect would be for pain and suffering. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.