Shysters: The law is what you can get away with

Mrx broA Couple of Years Ago, the AP Conducted a Poll About Lawyers And Healthcare

  • 54% want it more difficult to sue hospitals and doctors over malpractice, 32% opposed.
  • 58% of Independents and 61% of Republicans want lawsuit limits

This public perception arises not so much because of frivolous lawsuits increasing malpractice fees but because doctors and hospitals have to go through exorbitant and unnecessary lengths to ensure that they cover all their bases but because the right wing wants to place the blame on litigators. The already significant cost of training to become a doctor now includes malpractice insurance too, as doctors have to protect themselves from the many claims that are filed daily, some legitimate, some fraudulent, to do with medical malpractice. There is now call for the process of filing a claim to be made more difficult in order to deter those who merely see it as an opportunity to make money.

While there is call for this, the Republicans who have touted this as a way of recusing the costs of Obamacare are full of their own oral feces. The entities practicing “defensive care” are corporate medicine … the so called “free market.”

Why do corporations offer health care to employees? They do so because controlling a Microsoft programmer or Amazon marketing guru is as useful as controlling the guy who assembles Fords. Even Toyota has learned this and is now working with the UAW to find a path to unionize its employees.

The sad thing is that cases where individuals have been harmed and injured by medical professionals are drowned out by the corporate need to control the costs of health care.

Of course the shyster lawyer get her cut of these $$. Some of that goes to the small guy suing for an individual client .. often against a mega corporation’s attorneys. The latter, however, are a much bigger problem. Corporate attorney have a philosophy that believes their $$ are a bullying tool .. forcing settlements on individuals who cannot afford cost of the court room drama. There ethics stop at seeing who can put more money on the poker table to make the others fold their cards.

My own father got contacted by someone claiming to have found money belonging to my grand mother’s estate. As a physician in private practice, my Dad hated the misuse of attorneys. The finder, of course, would not reveal his find until he got paid a commission and then the lawyers got involved. My brother hired a lawyer who cost more than the found money before my Dad, wisely, fired the lawyer. Of course this was not a malpractice case but it is too typical of what lawyers consider their right to misuse the law.

An even worse example has to do with HIPAA. This is a federal law intended to protect patient’s privacy. Simply put, the law decrees that your medical records belong only to you and can not be divulged without your explicit consent. Good law? It would be if it had not become yet another source of lawyer’s income. Medical schools and hospitals have hired hundreds of attorneys to implement compliance efforts (that is what they are called) to see that the records are not only protected but that the hospital is never sued.

In theory the law is pretty simple. For example when a physician dies, her or his records are supposed to be recorded and shredded. Accredited companies do the job using a video camera to record the records as they move on a conveyor belt to a shredder.

The entire process costs less than a $1000. What does this mean when a shyster gets involved? Well, when my brother was my Dad’s executor, we found a large set of patient records. I tried hard to explain to my brother not only the law but what should have been the rights of my Dad’s patients. My brother, a corporate executive, got a very highly paid law firm, Eckert Seamans, to to say what he could get away with, literally shoving the records in garbage bags to be disposed of by his co-executor, an accountant named Mr. Martin Miasserian, and by Mr. Miasserian’s unemployed son. All I know about the records’ later fate is that they went to the Miasserians’s garage, saving the estate the $100o, while paying legal fees that were in the tens of thousands of dollars for this advice.

These attorneys obviously did not care about the rights of my Dad’s patients under the law. They got huge fees. In this case I, as a beneficiary of my Dad’s estate, paid those absurd fees.


The poll was conducted by Stanford University with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

1 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Roger Rabbit #

    The real reason Republicans want to curb the rights of victims to sue those who harmed them is because trial lawyers are the Democratic Party’s #1 donors, and if they can bankrupt the trial lawyers they’ll go a long way toward starving the Democratic Party of campaign funds.

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