Archive for the ‘Medical Malpractice’ Category

Good Doctors, Bad Medicine

In an interesting twist of fate, a hospital is being sued by two of its doctors and a medical assistant in a lawsuit that contends the hospital provided “substandard care” which lead to the death of at least one patient. Good for the doctors. Shame on the hospital.  

In this day and age it is almost impossible for victims of bad medicine to do anything about it. As a State Bar certified lawyer referral service I see instances every day where patients with legitimate claims of medical malpractice cannot find an attorney to take their case because the legal system is so stacked against the victims of bad medicine and so in favor of the insurance companies and the doctors and hospitals they insure.

There has been a lot of talk over the past two years about health care and medicine in the United States. The discussion always includes a cry for “tort reform” to stop all of the frivolous lawsuits. Well what most people don’t know is that California has had the strictest “tort reform” imaginable since 1975! It is called MICRA (Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act) In fact, the MICRA tort reform is so severe in California that if we ever actually were to have national tort reform for medical cases, it may actually make it easier for victims in California to sue their doctor or hospital.  To see an incredible video about the MICRA laws take a look at The Truth About MICRA.

MICRA prevents victims of medical malpractice from obtaining justice in many ways, including by limiting recovery for pain & suffering to $250,000 and by limiting the number of lawyers who take malpractice cases because of limited attorneys fees.

For more information about MICRA see  MICRA background

For more information about this lawsuit see the Mercury News.

To read the actual lawsuit, see Walker vs. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Warning about Health Insurance

Did you purchase medical insurance coverage from any of these companies?

  • Health Market Insurance
  • National Association for the Self Employed
  • Alliance For Affordable Services
  • Americans For Financial Security
  • Mega Life & Health Insurance
  • Health Insurance Company of Oklahoma
  • Mid-West National Life Insurance of Tennessee

If you did, you may be part of a case which has been filed by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and you should contact a certified lawyer referral service to determine if you need to file a civil action.

The case filed by the L.A. City Attorney alleges the insurance companies used illegal methods to sell  “junk insurance” to unsuspecting buyers. The lawsuit contends that a sales force of 1,200 insurance agents was trained to do “whatever it takes” to sell the junk policies and were trained to “reveal as little information as possible” about the insurance policies to the buyers. When buyers asked what the insurance policy would cover the agents were trained to answer with “impressive but meaningless jargon.”  According to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s lawsuit this was a big consumer rip-off.

These insurance polices were supposed to pay most of the cost associated with major illnesses and medical events such as cancer, heart disease and pregnancy. Customers purchased these policies in good faith and the lawsuit claims that the insurance companies had no intention of paying out any money to the customers.

Links for additional information:

California Healthline 

Courthouse News

Michael Jackson Lawsuit

Here is the actual lawsuit.

On September 15, 2010 Katherine Jackson, the mother of Michael Jackson, filed a “Complaint for Damages” against AEG LIVE LLC and others claiming they contributed to her son’s death. The complaint contains some very interesting allegations. Here is the actual lawsuit: JACKSON vs. AEG

The complaint was filed by Los Angeles lawyer Brian Panish, known as one of the all time greatest trial lawyers. He is the same lawyer that won a jury verdict in the amount of $4.9 Billion dollars against GM for a defective fuel system that caused a Chevy Malibu to burst into flames when it was rear-ended. This guy is really a great lawyer!

The Michael Jackson case has a lot of interesting allegations in it that you won’t find in the superficial media coverage. Here are just a few of the interesting ones:

  • If Michael failed to perform the shows, AEG could seize his Sony song catalog, including the songs by the Beatles,
  • When Michael showed up for rehearsal on June 23rd, he was so messed up and freezing cold that his assistants had to give him several shirts to wear under his long heavy coat, even though it was warm in the Staples Center,
  • There was a “Riot Act” meeting that was said to be “tough love” for Michael to get him to go to the rehearsals.

For those interested, take a look at the lawsuit yourself. You always find a lot more accurate information when you go to the document itself. I hope you find this interesting.

Is there more than one type of
“Personal Injury” case?

Slip and fallYES.  A lot of people don’t really know what a “personal injury” case is.  Most people think of a “personal injury” case as a car accident or a slip & fall accident. It is a lot more complicated than that.

During part of  my 25 years of practicing “personal injury” law I handled primarily medical malpractice matters and I remember folks coming up to me and saying, “I wish you could have handled my medical malpractice case, but I thought you were a personal injury lawyer”  (I always refrained from saying what I was thinking, “Hey dodo, medical malpractice IS personal injury”).

Most people just don’t know that the world of “personal injury” law includes many different kinds of cases and there are special personal injury lawyers for each type of case.

Personal injury law (like everything else in the world) is very specialized now. Here are just a few of the types of cases that “personal injury” lawyers handle:

There are “personal injury” lawyers who practice in each of these areas of law. It used to be that every Tom, Dick & Harry in the legal business handled “personal injury” cases because they were easy money. Not so anymore. Lawyers practicing in the field of personal injury law do not make the kind of money they did in years past. It is a difficult business now and unfortunately a lot of lawyers are accepting personal injury cases which they have no business taking (and that is really bad for the client).

Some of the worst examples I have seen are in nursing home neglect cases. I have seen situations when a so called “personal injury” lawyer sees a client with terrible bed sores or broken bones caused at a nursing home (SNF or RCFE) who signs up the case and handles it like a general negligence or medical malpractice case. Big mistake!  I have seen cases that were destroyed by the lawyers incompetence.

Every injured person is entitled to a fair fight against the defendant who they believe caused their injuries. Rest assured the lawyers who represent the defendant will always be specialists in defending the case you bring against their client. In some of the medical malpractice cases I handled, the lawyer who was defending the doctor my client was suing knew more about the area of medicine than the doctor we were suing! So the advice I have here is to be sure you know how to find a lawyer and how to hire a lawyer.  That’s the only way to level the playing field.