More doctors claiming malpractice insurance costs are driving them out of business

CBS Evening News
Sunday, February 23, 2003


PINKSTON: Around the country, physicians are putting down their stethoscopes and picking up picket signs, calling for legislation to limit jury awards to hold down malpractice insurance premiums. Twenty-four states have already imposed caps on malpractice awards. Congress is now considering a nationwide limit of $250,000 for pain and suffering judgments.

Ms. JOANNE DOROSHOW (Center For Justice & Democracy): I think it's an outrage.

PINKSTON: Consumer advocates insist caps won't help patients or doctors, but will help insurance companies.
Ms. DOROSHOW: States that have gone ahead and tried to cap jury awards to try to solve this insurance problem have found that insurance companies continue to raise rates.

PINKSTON: But the insurance industry insists excessive malpractice awards are draining profits and raising costs.

Mr. P.J. CROWLEY (Insurance Information Institute): Lawyers sue doctors. Doctors then order more tests because they're afraid of getting sued.

PINKSTON: But don't talk to Norma Valasquez about protecting doctors or insurance companies.

Ms. NORMA VALASQUEZ (Mother Of Overdose Victim): You don't put a price tag on someone's life.

PINKSTON: Her son, Eddie, was being treated in New Jersey for leukemia when doctors gave him an overdose of a chemotherapy drug. He died 10 weeks later. His mother is insulted by the idea of a $250,000 cap.

Ms. VALASQUEZ: My son's life is worth more than that.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

Join Our Fight!

The Center for Justice & Democracy is the only national consumer organization in the country exclusively dedicated to protecting our civil justice system. If you'd like more information, please contact us.

Connect with us