My outrage at New York doctors and hospitals, who recently tried to sneak into our State budget a booby-trap to explode on their unsuspecting malpracticed patients, has still not subsided. Read my recent blogs about their underhanded efforts here and here. Readers’ digest version: They tried to slip a “cap on non-economic damages” for medical malpractice lawsuits into our State budget. Fortunately, their efforts failed. But believe me, New York medical doctors’ lobbyists will try it again. Their motto is, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”.
So forgive me if I rant a while longer. They will keep at it, so why shouldn’t I?
New York doctors and hospitals keep whining about skyrocketing insurance premiums, which they choose to blame not on greedy insurance companies, but on New York malpractice claimants and their New York medical malpractice lawyers. But when juries hammer doctors with big verdicts, it’s because the doctors hammered their patients with big harm — carelessly. Juries reluctantly bang out big verdicts to compensate big screw ups. Those juries have found the doctors’ treatment of their patient so pathetic – wait, let’s be generous — “crappy” – as to fall below any acceptable standard of medical care.
So what is the New York medical profession’s response to those big jury verdicts for their big screw-ups? In a word (or two): “Shut up!” Doctors don’t like what juries are telling them, so they go to Albany and try to muzzle them. The docs are essentially saying, “we don’t want the jury to tell us how badly we devastated a human life by our crappy medical practices — put a lid on it, pal”.
But this is what I want the medical profession to understand, so listen up docs!: Capping a jury’s damages verdict is like shooting the messenger. It won’t fix the harm you are inflicting on your patients. “Shut up” fixes nothing. Stop paying all that money to your Albany lobbyists to undo your patients’ rights and instead spend it on fixing what’s wrong with your medical practices. Curb your screw-up rates and you will lower your premium rates, without robbing your malpractice victims of their right to full compensation. Retool, retrain, implement safer practices. You can do it! You were the smartest kids in class! We know you can!
Hey, don’t get me wrong. I can commiserate with you about those high insurance premiums. I am a New York personal injury and malpractice lawyer whose legal malpractice premiums continue to skyrocket even though neither I nor any of my law partners have ever been sued for malpractice. But if I ever screw up — god forbid – and cause a client to suffer big harm — I sure hope I have enough insurance to make it right for my client. That’s because I care about my clients. New York doctors, do you care about your patients? I can’t help but wonder . . .
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels & Smolak, P.C.