Articles Posted in Uncategorized

I always wondered about the deterrent effect of medical malpractice laws. In other words, if you pass laws which limit responsibility of tortfeasors do you embolden them to commit torts? Does the fact that they have limited responsibility make people less careful?

This is often discussed in the medical malpractice area. Pro-tort reform entities seek to cap damages.  Groups who advocate for victims rights, like the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice, cite studies from people like Tom Baker, author of the Medical Malpractice Myth,which indicate that the great majority of people who were injured by medical providers’ negligence do not file suit. They discuss the huge numbers of medical errors compared with the paucity of actual suits.  (Tom Baker was a guest on my radio show, Let’s Talk Law.  Also, I should probably mention I am a member of American Association for Justice and on the Board of Managers for the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association).

Zenon Zabinski and Benard S. Black have written a paper about this issue. The papers entitled “The Deterrent Effect of Tort Law: Evidence from Medical Malpractice Reform.”  The paper analyzes cases from states that enacted damage caps for medical malpractice claims. Those states are Florida, Georgia, Illinois, South Carolina, and Texas. The study notes that in Illinois and Georgia invalidated the caps. However, Zabinski and Black studied information that predated the invalidation of the caps so the information should not effective the study.

I spoke at the Illinois Trial Lawyers seminar in September 2014. I gave an update on tort law.  Below is a breakdown of the cases that I discussed.  There were a few already on this blog that I did not include.  Enjoy.  Feel free to contact me at Ackerman Law Office if you have questions or want to hire me.  217-789-1977.

Sharbono v Hilborn

 In Sharborno v Hilborn a woman went in for a mammogram in November 2004.  The defendant Dr. concluded that the lesion was benign. He did not order a biopsy. Two years later she went to her family doctor complaining of cramping her left breast and pain in her shoulder and requested a second mammogram. In August plaintiff had another mammogram and an ultrasound of her breast. The ultrasound indicated the lesion was probably malignant. It was in fact malignant. Plaintiff filed suit against Dr. and the hospital. The hospital settled out. There was extensive testimony by doctors about the lesion and its interpretation. Many doctors thought the 2004 ultrasound should have been classified as at least BI RADS 3 probably benign, rather than BI RADS 2 benign.

I promised when I was on the radio to post links to both the act which contains no new Illinois pension reform and a post to an article by Eric Madiar regarding the constitutional amendment which prohibits diminishment or impairment to Illinois State Employee pension rights.

The Illinois legislature amended the Constitution in 1970. It provides:

“Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

For those of you interested in the Affordable Care Act/Obama care, we had Robert Wagner on the show Saturday, November 23, 2013. I know many people distain the Affordable Care Act, and will even had a few people who make calls it were apparent they did not like it, but it is apparently going to be law now, so I thought it appropriate to have an expert on the subject on the year. I tried to make the interview with him as unbiased as possible, given the controversial nature of the act. While I am not sure you can never do that completely, I did the best could. Robert Wagner is the former general counsel to the Illinois Department of Insurance and he was a director of it. He currently works for Hinshaw and Culbertson, where he advises businesses, insurance companies, and medical providers on, among other things, the Affordable Care Act. In short, he really knows his stuff. I had seen a Mr. Wagner speak at a seminar with probably hundred lawyers and hundred doctors. I was impressed with his speech that I asked him to be on the air. Below is the consumer report resources page that he asked me to post on the blog. I hope it helps some of you.

CONSUMER RESOURCES

Get Covered Illi nois Website