Jessica's family's lawyer opposes medical mal. cap - page 3

Before Congress, Santillans' lawyer blasts malpractice award caps By Kyle Stock : The Herald-Sun Washington bureau Feb 27, 2003 : 7:14 pm ET WASHINGTON -- The lawyer for the 17-year-old... Read More

  1. by   Going80INA55
    An article in my local paper stated that the family had to put down a $30,000 dollar deposit on the surgury before Jessica could even be put on the transplant list. It went on to state they had no insurance and this money was raised from donations.

    The question is if they do make the revision to caps of "pain and suffering" would that apply to this case, as the event already happened and the bill has not been enacted yet.
  2. by   LauraF, RN
    That's an interesting point, as to if it would effect Jessica's family. But as of yet there is no suit filed. I think if the had already been filed and they are just awaiting a court date, then it would not effect them. I think since no suit as of yet, then it would effect them. Atleast that would be my take on it.
  3. by   wolfie
    Along with everyone else I'm sorry it happened but just alittle fact keeps slipping by the media and the lawyers. She would have been dead in 6 months. So she is not a bread winner and I've all along felt that this kind of money is blood money. Could you spend this money on things knowing your daughter, husband wife etc. had to die for you to spend it. I couldn't. I don't think they deserve to get paid millions. And of course lawyers don't want a cap because they lose out. They are part of the problem not the solution. Like everyone else has said just my opinion.
  4. by   emily_mom
    Of course they do....
  5. by   Mkue
    250,000 for "pain and suffering" cap seems pretty reasonable. Agree with Wolfie, and would feel strange spending the money knowing that a loved one had died.. if that was the case.
  6. by   Bonnie Blue
    It's also about blame. It's the doctor's fault, the nurse's fault, the company for making a "defective" product etc. People seem unable to take responsibility for themselves, that mistakes happen and some things are not preventable. We have "birth injury" lawyers advertising around here. Grrr.

    Pay what is reasonable for care and cap the punitive "pain and suffering" damages. $250,000 can cover alot of counseling which is what these people need!
  7. by   TheBrainMusher
    Originally posted by NurseDennie
    Hi - Just dropping in because this seems to be kind of a common misconception. The cap they're talking about is not capping costs or lost wages or things like that. People who were injured so that they will need extra special care the rest of their lives would still be able to be awarded millions of dollars for their care, and also for lost wages of a breadwinner, etc.

    It's the "pain and suffering" amounts that would be capped. And I think I have to say that I agree with this. If you're compensated for tangible things like that, then I think that a quarter of a MILLION dollars is pretty reasonable for pain and suffering. There has to be a limit and that just doesn't sound bad to me.


    Thanks for clearing that up! In that case I'm all for it!
  8. by   lee1
    It also seems to be that perhaps the lawyers are only thinking about their percentage share of what they get also. Don't you think???
  9. by   BadBird
    It seems that the only winners in this case is the lawyer, Jesica is gone, her family are here illegally and should be deported but her lawyer will live on off the backs of a horrible mistake.
  10. by   LaurieCRNP2002
    This has been an interesting thread. A few weeks ago, I came across a great editorial, from a NJ newspaper, that made some good points:

    1) Caps are not a "cure-all"--for states that have them, they only seem to slow the rate of increases of malpractice premiums

    2) The Legislature (in this case, the NJ Assembly) should consider limiting legal fees in big malpractice cases

    3) "It is also true that the medical profession does not police itself aggressively on medical errors. Bad doctors with substantiated complaints against them often continue to practice"

    4) However, we all know that there are many frivolous lawsuits--lawyers encourage patients to sue on flimsy grounds, and doctors are cornered into settling even if they did nothing wrong.

    So, clearly, this is a "multi-pronged" problem that requires an answer that addresses all of the relevant issues

    "Any attempt to deal with the crisis of high malpractice rates should be accompanied by an equally aggressive effort to reduce the medical errors and negligence that result in legitimate malpractice suits." (Last paragraph of editorial)

    I agree that there needs to be a cap on pain and suffering,but I think in particularly egregious cases, there should be a mechanism to allow a higher amount to be considered. How this process would be set up and who would be the final arbiter in deciding whether a case deserved to be considered for a higher "pain and suffering" amount--I don't have answers for that. Clearly, though, all involved players--doctors, legislators, insurance companies, lawyers, and patient advocates--need to set aside their egos and come to the table with the realization that each party plays some role in the problem, and therefore should be willling to help propose solutions that will help everyone, not just patients, or not just lawyers

    P.S. If anyone is interested in a copy of this article, send me a PM and I'll be glad to send you a copy

    Newly minted MSN
  11. by   fab4fan
    If the family is genuine in their desire to prevent a mistake like this one happening in the future, then any $$ awarded to them from a malpractice suit should be given to an appropriate charity.

    Yeah, let's just see if that happens. What I imagine is that the family will become "psuedo-celebrities", and will have their faces plastered all over every paper and magazine.

    Makes me sick.
  12. by   Lausana
    Yep. I'm expecting to see them on the cover of Time or Life or whatever, if they haven't been already, maybe they have.
  13. by   MishlB
    Of course nobody here is surprised, and the comments begin again about her legal status....are you telling me you would not sue? Every one of you would do the same if it was your child. It's none of our business what they do with the money, either. If they end up on a magazine cover it's because people in this country love that stuff, not because this family has finally got their chance at fame and fortune. This case should be brought into the spotlight and not hidden like it didn't happen.
    Of course you cannot put a price on pain and suffering, but you also cannot put a price on a child. And the comment about malpractice only for incompetence and not a mistake....yeah, right. Everyone would just be saying "oops". I know I would sue their asses, too.
    Last edit by MishlB on Mar 1, '03