Even Wisconsin’s lawyers hate medical malpractice caps.
This provision, which aims to limit the award medical malpractice victims receive, has been the subject of controversy in the legal community. In one case in Wisconsin, writes David Mittleman for The Legal Examiner, a $1.8-million award for a group of state employees got trimmed down to $250,000. To quote one state-licensed lawyer, it was “an insult to the citizens of Wisconsin.”
Fifteen states, including New York, and D.C. don’t implement any medical malpractice caps. However, New York came close to having one in 2011 when Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed to limit medical malpractice awards to $250,000. Fortunately, after pressure from lawyers and consumer groups, the proposal was dropped from the year’s budget session.
Why They’re Wrong
For a short answer, think of it this way. You suffer the effects of the wrong drug given to you by your doctor, resulting in more harm than before, only to receive $250,000 in damages. It may look like a lot of money, but given the ordeal you went through, it’s only fitting that you deserve more.
Medical malpractice caps were brought into question not just on a state but also federal level. In 2003, a congressional report was presented at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce where it explained the ineffectiveness of the cap system. For instance, Oklahoma, which didn’t have a cap, saw payouts drop by 16 percent, opposite of the supposed effect.
In addition, a different report published the same year stated that insurance firms in states with caps requested a rate hike of up to 60 percent. Caps can’t prevent the spike of premiums.
Many Long Island medical malpractice lawyers like Joseph Lichtenstein have handled countless medical malpractice cases over the years, most resulting in millions in awards. Despite the huge payouts, cases in general don’t always get you a million dollars richer. Damages are determined by various factors; the severity of the damage inflicted is just scratching the surface.
The $47 million Lichtenstein won for his client eight years ago? It involved a child suffering from brain damage after doctors failed to resuscitate him after entering cardiac arrest. When you put the terms “child,” “brain damage,” and “cardiac arrest” in one case, you know it’s really bad. The details of the case may even provide insight as to its eight-digit payout.
Whether you deserve thousands or millions, a professional NY medical malpractice lawyer only desires you receive just compensation.
(Source: “Wisconsin Lawsuits Take Aim at “Insulting” Medical Malpractice Caps,” The Legal Examiner, October 6, 2014)