“Caps on Damages Don’t Work” This excellent editorial appeared on Newsday.com on Oct 17 2007:” Darrie Eason is a penetrating example of what’s wrong with proposals to cap damages for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases. The high cost of malpractice insurance is a problem. But adding insult to patients’ injuries by arbitrarily limiting jury awards is not the answer.
Eason was told she had cancer. One double mastectomy later, doctors told her the devastating diagnosis was a mistake. Her tissue sample had been mislabeled. She never had cancer. Tragically, by then her breasts had been removed.
If it’s proved that her travail was caused by somebody’s negligence, she can collect economic damages – lost wages and the cost of hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy and the like. But that just covers her expenses. So, what else is there? Whatever a judge or jury considers just compensation for her pain and suffering.
Under current law, without caps, she could be awarded millions of dollars. Impose the cap sought by President George W. Bush and congressional Republicans, and she could get no more than $250,000. Would that be just? What’s the anguish of losing two healthy breasts worth for a single, 35-year-old woman? Right now that’s for jurors to decide, as it should be.
Virtually all the other actors in malpractice dramas – insurers, doctors, lawyers, hospitals, laboratories – have deeper pockets than the typical person who sues. People like Eason shouldn’t be forced to bear the brunt of the cost of fixing the nation’s malpractice insurance problem.” Every independent study done on caps on damages awards compels the same conclusion: THEY DON’T WORK. The caps issue is, in simple terms, a corporate and insurance HOAX perpetrated on the public and on the professionals – including lawyers – who pay insurance premiums. Don’t vote for candidates who sing this song, because they’re almost certainly taking BIG campaign contributions from insurance and business executives. Do you think people like that have best interests at heart? Well, neither do their pet candidates.