In my 25 years of practice I have never seen a proposed NY “law” that is so anti-consumer, so anti-taxpayer and so pro-insurance company as the proposed caps on damages in medical malpractice cases.
These caps are buried within Governor Cuomo’s budget. You might quite logically wonder why sweeping changes to the law are found in a “budget” but the short-answer is “Albany politics at its worst”! In an effort to cut a Medicaid “deal” with the hospitals, Governor Cuomo gave in to a demand from the hospitals that he reverse hundreds of years of NY law to impose a cap on damages in medical malpractice cases.
SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR DR’S OR HOSPITALS BUT NOT FOR YOU OR ME…..
These proposed medical malpractice caps means if a Dr or a hospital screws up and hurts you, your non-economic damages are artificially and arbitrarily capped at just $250,000. Interestingly, this protection only applies to Dr’s and hospitals. So if I screw up as a lawyer and commit malpractice you can recover for the FULL amount of your damages with no caps. If an accountant, an architect, a mechanic or ANYONE else (other than a Dr. or a hospital) screws up and hurts you, you can collect 100% of your damages with no caps. But if you are a Dr. or a hospital you get special protections that apply to no one else. How is that fair?
CAPS MEAN MORE COSTS WILL BE SHIFTED FROM INSURANCE COMPANIES TO THE TAXPAYER……
For 25 years I have represented the injured in the Southern Tier of NY and Northern Tier of PA. I have represented babies brain-damaged due to medical malpractice. I have represented the elderly who have suffered amputations because a nurse failed to monitor an infected wound.
Young or old, I have proudly represented these injured folks knowing that the settlements or verdicts obtained from the insurance companies for the wrong-doers would be paying the bills for my injured client rather than the taxpayers footing the entire bill through Medicare or Medicaid.
But all of that is about to change if these caps are approved. Now, settlements from insurance companies will be smaller meaning that the victim will have less resources available to pay their own bills. It means those bills for their needs will be turned over to Medicare or Medicaid. That means that taxpayers, rather than the insurance companies for the wrong-doers will be paying the bills. How is that fair? Isn’t it more fair that the person responsible for causing the injury pay for the damage they have caused rather than putting this burden on the taxpayer?
HERE IS A LETTER I AM SENDING TO MY CLIENTS ASKING THEM TO OPPOSE THESE CAPS……I HOPE YOU TOO WILL OPPOSE THESE CAPS…….
The health care industry is lobbying state legislators in Albany to pass a bill which would severely limit the rights of all victims of medical malpractice.
The proposed bill would limit or “cap” pain and suffering compensation in all medical malpractice cases to $250,000, even for the most damaging medical mistakes, including those that leave a patient blind, paralyzed, brain damaged, disfigured, infertile or otherwise gravely injured for life. Caps would shield doctors and hospitals from the full consequences of their negligence.
This bill would also take away the rights of babies who suffer brain damage at birth due to medical negligence to be fully compensated in a court of law for their injuries. Instead, these children would receive very limited coverage for their future medical costs from a newly created state bureaucratic fund — under conditions which would ensure that they will never receive the quality of care they need and deserve. Meanwhile, negligent hospitals and doctors will not be responsible for paying any of those costs. That’s wrong.
If hospitals, doctors and insurance companies want to save money it should not be on the backs of innocents victims of medical negligence. The best solution to reducing costs is to reduce medical errors and the injuries they cause.