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Posted in Medical Malpractice on August 31, 2016   |  by Gary Burger

Tort Reform is a Myth

We represent the family of Tim Frymire in a wrongful death and medical malpractice action. Tim died on August 1, 2013 at the age of 20. He had been to his doctor’s office 7 hours before his death. He died from complications of a brain tumor.

We were scheduled to go to trial in August 2016 when the case settled. The family sought to improve medical care for everyone as part of the case, i.e. to have medical providers pay more attention to the type of symptoms that Tim exhibited. They also disagree with the statutory cap on wrongful damages in Missouri. Although the statue has changed over the years, it places a cap on noneconomic damages of $350,000. So, this puts a lid on these noneconomic damages.

Insurance companies, doctors, and nurses who break well established rules of care that they should provide to patients use these caps to artificially limit their liability and avoid responsibility for their medical errors. The New England journal of medicine studied the effect of tort reform and found no reduction in integrity of care, use of “defensive medicine”, use of MRI’s or CT’s at hospital admissions- ie no cost savings. Insurance industry tricked states into passing it and does nothing to change way medicine is practiced or help patients or doctors (other than to cap recoveries when doctors hurt their patients). New study shows tort reforms saving are mythical.

Simply put, medical malpractice caps do not help doctors and only help insurance companies. That we would help insurance companies rather than good Missouri and American families like the Frymires is bad public policy.