TorteDeForm

Lee Tilson

A Trial Lawyer Begs to Have Less Business

An article in today's news based on recent statistics from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the nation's leading authority on medical safety, ought to shock the conscience of even the most ardent tort "reformer."

40 to 50 "incidents of harm" for every 100 patients, about 15 million harm events each year at U.S. hospitals.

"Two years after the Institute for Healthcare Improvement launched a campaign to reduce the thousands of deaths caused by such hospital failures as medication errors and infections, the same leaders on Tuesday launched a second phase aimed at cutting hospital-induced injuries by 5 million over the next two years.

"The non-profit institute studied injury rates at hospitals and estimated that there are 40 to 50 "incidents of harm" for every 100 patients, about 15 million harm events each year at U.S. hospitals. The injuries include everything from pressure ulcers, more commonly known as bedsores, to surgical complications and infections."

Any alleged increase in the cost of products due to the indirect costs added to a product because of litigation expenses is minimal compared to the costs associated with the expense of trying to heal patients directly injured by malpractice.


"On an average day, General Motors Corp. estimates that one person it insures dies because of medical errors, and 40 are sickened by prescription drug mistakes.

"The automaker loses about $4 million a day because of medical errors and inefficiencies."

Stung by escalating malpractice insurance premiums decades ago, the anesthesiologists decided to study closed malpractice claims. This closed claims project enabled a dramatic reduction in the rates of anesthesia accidents from one per 5,000 surgeries to one in 300,000 surgeries. They decided to learn what they could from lawsuits. They learned a lot. We are all safer now.


A recent article in Obstetrics and Gynecology
suggests the same course for the field of obstetrics :


"Efforts to better track quality outcomes has been initiated by the American College of Surgeons through the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists has demonstrated both dramatically improved outcomes and reduced liability costs through a concerted patient safety effort."

I repeat my offer to all readers of this blog. Work with me. Make patient care safer (send an e mail to me at keeppatientssafe AT gmail DOT com).

Join in the effort to improve patient safety. Whatever your position is on the tort system or tort reform, no one wants patients to be harmed. Let's learn what we can from whatever source we can. Let's improve patient care.

Let's make the tort system irrelevant by making it unnecessary to use it.

Let's eliminate the torts. It worked for anesthesia, reducing anesthesia accidents dramatically.

I am a trial lawyer. If you really want to hurt trial lawyers, eliminate the negligent injuries. Simple as that. I will work with you to put me out of business.

You can take away your own rights to access to the legal system after you are injured by negligent medical care if you choose. I prefer to make you safe. That is my goal: safe medical care.

Lee Tilson: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 12:30 PM, Dec 22, 2006 in
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Comments

Greedy trial lawyers do not beg for anything. They fight to obtain the maximum compensation for each victim of wrongdoing. The wrongdoers should do the begging and the reforming.

Posted by: Greedy Trial Lawyer | December 24, 2006 8:19 AM

I am begging.

For all of us.

Posted by: Lee Tilson | December 24, 2006 11:06 PM

Greedy: I beg you, work hard to end the deprivation of the careless lawyer from the benefits of torts. The lawyer's self-dealt immunities block them. Let's pass a statute ending the privity obstacle to the benefits of torts filed against the careless lawyer by adverse third parties.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | December 25, 2006 1:32 PM

Kindly explicate:


"Greedy: I beg you, work hard to end the deprivation of the careless lawyer from the benefits of torts. The lawyer's self-dealt immunities block them. Let's pass a statute ending the privity obstacle to the benefits of torts filed against the careless lawyer by adverse third parties.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | December 25, 2006 01:32 PM "


Lee Tilson

Posted by: Anonymous | December 27, 2006 1:00 AM

Lee: You are an attorney who sues doctors, with every penny you make coming from the clinical care of the sick and poor, in the form of higher prices or reduced access. Furthermore, by imposing anti-scientific, bogus standards of professional practice, you hurt innumerable children you never see, care less about.

You are a John Edwards type. He single handedly caused an increase in C-sections in North Carolina by doctor intimidation, markedly increasing costs. These unnecessary C-sections caused an epidemic of asthma and diarrheal diseases in infants, requiring hospitalizations and IV treatment, again raising costs and injuries to newborns, all caused by John Edwards. Where do the wheezing babies with the runs go for recourse against John Edwards for his deviations from due standards of lawyer care, in hiring prostitutes as bogus experts and winning enormous verdicts in biased, corrupt, local courts? Nowhere.

Can people sue lawyers for their carelessness to improve the lawyer profession and decrease its carelessness? It is nearly impossible. The adverse third party must show malice, in an abuse of process claim, practically expressed in a recording. The privity obstacle ended for everyone else, 100 years ago. The adverse third party cannot sue for legal malpractice. How do you get to keep a privity obstacle to a legal malpractice claim, and no one else does?

The adverse third party is a neutral term. It implies a plaintiff could sue a defense lawyer for a frivolous defense, as attested to by an expert in defense lawyering.

Then, the client, despite having privity, must succeed at a trial within a trial. He must win 2 trials. What are those odds against a lawyer, judged by a biased lawyer-judge? Then, he is not done. He must show, he could have actually collected from a solvent defendant in the first trial. That is a third trial within a second trial within a first trial. What are the odds of winning three trials in a row?

Do lawyers have clear duties to adverse third parties? Yes. So say the Rules of Conduct, Rules of Evidence, Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedures. These duties are expressly enumerated in the Rules, and in countless common law cases.

The self-dealt, common law, constructive immunities of the lawyer from even those with whom he has privity are lawless and unjust. These should be rectified in statute ending all privity obstacles to legal malpractice claims against the lawyer by adverse third parties, and ending the trial within a trial within a trial obstacle for clients injured by lawyer carelessness.

The statute would look like this,"The law of torts of this State, and the Rules of Civil Procedure apply to the licensed lawyer." How can any lawyer oppose that?

Whether the lawyer opposes these or not, these immunities violate the procedural due process rights of the lawyer victim, and are unConstitutional.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | December 27, 2006 8:04 PM

Supremacy Claus writes:


Lee: You are an attorney who sues doctors, with every penny you make coming from the clinical care of the sick and poor, in the form of higher prices or reduced access. Furthermore, by imposing anti-scientific, bogus standards of professional practice, you hurt innumerable children you never see, care less about.

You are a John Edwards type. He single handedly caused an increase in C-sections in North Carolina by doctor intimidation, markedly increasing costs. These unnecessary C-sections caused an epidemic of asthma and diarrheal diseases in infants, requiring hospitalizations and IV treatment, again raising costs and injuries to newborns, all caused by John Edwards. Where do the wheezing babies with the runs go for recourse against John Edwards for his deviations from due standards of lawyer care, in hiring prostitutes as bogus experts and winning enormous verdicts in biased, corrupt, local courts? Nowhere.

Can people sue lawyers for their carelessness to improve the lawyer profession and decrease its carelessness? It is nearly impossible. The adverse third party must show malice, in an abuse of process claim, practically expressed in a recording. The privity obstacle ended for everyone else, 100 years ago. The adverse third party cannot sue for legal malpractice. How do you get to keep a privity obstacle to a legal malpractice claim, and no one else does?

The adverse third party is a neutral term. It implies a plaintiff could sue a defense lawyer for a frivolous defense, as attested to by an expert in defense lawyering.

Then, the client, despite having privity, must succeed at a trial within a trial. He must win 2 trials. What are those odds against a lawyer, judged by a biased lawyer-judge? Then, he is not done. He must show, he could have actually collected from a solvent defendant in the first trial. That is a third trial within a second trial within a first trial. What are the odds of winning three trials in a row?

Do lawyers have clear duties to adverse third parties? Yes. So say the Rules of Conduct, Rules of Evidence, Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedures. These duties are expressly enumerated in the Rules, and in countless common law cases.

The self-dealt, common law, constructive immunities of the lawyer from even those with whom he has privity are lawless and unjust. These should be rectified in statute ending all privity obstacles to legal malpractice claims against the lawyer by adverse third parties, and ending the trial within a trial within a trial obstacle for clients injured by lawyer carelessness.

The statute would look like this,"The law of torts of this State, and the Rules of Civil Procedure apply to the licensed lawyer." How can any lawyer oppose that?

Whether the lawyer opposes these or not, these immunities violate the procedural due process rights of the lawyer victim, and are unConstitutional.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | December 27, 2006 08:04 PM

___________________________________________________________________________________

HUH?

You write: "every penny you make coming from the clinical care of the sick and poor, "

No. It comes from the insurance companies. The insurance companies do not go around paying for health care for Katrina victims. Where do you get this stuff?

You write: Furthermore, by imposing anti-scientific, bogus standards of professional practice, you hurt innumerable children you never see, care less about.

Might I ask what you are talking about here? Are you talking about referring to the accepted standards in the fields as "anti scientific"?

I must confess that I do not understand most of what you are saying. Nevertheless, I compliment your grammar.

Congratulations.

Now to work on your content and logic just a tad.

Posted by: lee tilson | December 28, 2006 4:01 PM

Lee: What do you think of applying modern torts doctrines to the lawyer in legal malpractice?

I oppose tort reform, even limits on punitive damages set at the Supreme Court. Let torts do its work to improve your criminal cult enterprise.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | December 31, 2006 12:56 PM

Lee:

1) Insurance

As you know, insurance payouts result in higher premiums. If premiums increase, either the health provider increases its fees to pay for them or it goes out of business, reduces access for the poor. From the back end, if your enterprise attacks businesses, their stock prices fall. Insurance companies have to increase their premiums again, again paid for by the tax payer on behalf of the poor. You lawyers are attacking clinical care from both sides in a classic pincer tactic, seeking its destruction.

2) Anti-Scientific Claims

First, most plaintiff experts are well known bitches for your profession. Some have testimony as a major source of income and no credibility. Let's assume good credibility on both sides.

If two opposing experts testify in good faith, by definition, you have a scientific controversy. These cannot be resolved at the point of gun in a trial, after lawyer rhetoric and fairy tale spinning in front of a lay jury, that is really irritated to have its life interrupted by your profession, wants to go home as soon as possible. Only additional valid data can resolve a scientific controversy.

The sole valid cases you have are those where no expert can be found for the defense or are within the knowledge of the jury, for example, amputating the healthy leg, leaving on the gangrenous one, giving the blood tansfusion to the wrong patient, instantly killing him. Usually those will settle, since the defendant will see the point, even before the search for the expert, his being an expert.

Thus any claim with opposing experts testifying in good faith is anti-scientific, and violates the defendant's procedural due process right to a fair hearing. These cases violate the Fifth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Most of your cases going to trial are lawless and offensive to our constitution and our American Way of Life. They are lawless land piracy.

If the totally pro-lawyer biased, self-dealing cult criminal on the bench were not so mentally crippled by his legal education, this simple point would be self-evident.

Lee, I try not to make personal remarks. These reflect frustration in the traverse. I feel fine in the traverse. If a point is wrong, I haven't the slightest hesitation to admit it, and to thank the critic for his valuable help.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | January 2, 2007 8:27 PM

Modern tort doctrines already apply.

You claim to know what I care about, and to pass judgment on what I do without knowing anything about me. You refer to what I do as a "criminal cult enterprise" but oppose limits on it.

I am straining here to focus on the content of your comments, and have difficulty with doing so.

Best wishes.

Lee

Posted by: Lee Tilson | January 3, 2007 8:28 AM

You write:

"1) Insurance

As you know, insurance payouts result in higher premiums. If premiums increase, either the health provider increases its fees to pay for them or it goes out of business, reduces access for the poor. From the back end, if your enterprise attacks businesses, their stock prices fall. Insurance companies have to increase their premiums again, again paid for by the tax payer on behalf of the poor. You lawyers are attacking clinical care from both sides in a classic pincer tactic, seeking its destruction.

2) Anti-Scientific Claims

First, most plaintiff experts are well known bitches for your profession. Some have testimony as a major source of income and no credibility. Let's assume good credibility on both sides.

If two opposing experts testify in good faith, by definition, you have a scientific controversy. These cannot be resolved at the point of gun in a trial, after lawyer rhetoric and fairy tale spinning in front of a lay jury, that is really irritated to have its life interrupted by your profession, wants to go home as soon as possible. Only additional valid data can resolve a scientific controversy.

The sole valid cases you have are those where no expert can be found for the defense or are within the knowledge of the jury, for example, amputating the healthy leg, leaving on the gangrenous one, giving the blood tansfusion to the wrong patient, instantly killing him. Usually those will settle, since the defendant will see the point, even before the search for the expert, his being an expert.

Thus any claim with opposing experts testifying in good faith is anti-scientific, and violates the defendant's procedural due process right to a fair hearing. These cases violate the Fifth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Most of your cases going to trial are lawless and offensive to our constitution and our American Way of Life. They are lawless land piracy.

If the totally pro-lawyer biased, self-dealing cult criminal on the bench were not so mentally crippled by his legal education, this simple point would be self-evident.

You write:

Lee, I try not to make personal remarks. These reflect frustration in the traverse. I feel fine in the traverse. If a point is wrong, I haven't the slightest hesitation to admit it, and to thank the critic for his valuable help. "


I have no idea how you can support your claim that most of the tort claims are "anti scientific," especially in this era of Daubert. Do you practice law? How can you possibly support this conclusion? I too have read Galileo's Revenge, and the chapters dealing with the areas of law with which I am familiar are unfounded. I have dealt with this elsewhere.

The truth is that when an area of medicine decides to pay close attention to the lawsuits filed, the insurance premiums in that area of medicine drop and drop dramatically.

Recent estimates are that 30% of health insurance premiums pay for medical care made necessary as a result of medical errors.

What I propose is creating new mechanisms to eliminate medical errors and improve patient safety. Do you propose any? Will you work with me in creating them?

So far, lawsuits are the only thing that gets the attention of the medical industry.

Our imperative should be to reduce medical errors. What do you suggest to accomplish that goal?

Posted by: Lee Tilson | January 3, 2007 9:40 AM

A lawyer may not be sued by an adverse third party for legal malpractice, even after violating an enumerated, express rule in a statute or formal rule. The privity obstacle has stopped protecting all other people from torts for 100 years. The lawyer exception is not modern tort law. It predates, MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co. No one else has a privity obstable to accountability to third parties.

The sole remedy to medical error is continual improvement, where major errors are thoroughly investigated by insiders like airline crashes, the 12 factors that clustered to end in the error are listed, and the system is changed to prevent each.

Your scapegoating of doctors totally deters that. Your scapegoating and destruction of individual doctors no longer fits with the modern cluster view of mishaps. It is anti-scientific and Medieval. It also has future forecasting as its core doctrine, a violation of the Establishment Clause by its religious origin and supernatural nature. Your bitches, by saying what you pay them to say in court, are generating massive, but worthless defensive medicine costs. Ending defensive medicine would buy top of the line coverage for the majority of the uninsured. The uninsurance problem is the fault of the tort lawyer.

I do not practice law. I practice medicine. I am here to help the lawyer. I will free you from your Scholasticist criminal cult indoctrination. You will hate me, then you will thank me later.

Let's have a full investigation of each major mishap. Let's immunize all findings that are shown to have been remedied, as a matter of policy.

Let's give Medicaid to anyone injured by a medical error. You find another line of lawyering. I have plenty of ideas that will make you a billionaire if you have the courage to make the claims.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | January 3, 2007 2:30 PM

Ted is shunning me these days. I doubt he will allow this on his blog, so, Lee, you need to hear this:

Ted: Type I error is the risk of finding an effect, where none exists. Type II is the chance of missing an effect that does exist. The mathematical formulas to calculate these risks are parametric, meaning, based on the mathematical formula of the bell curve. This curve often best describes the distributions of large populations.

Clinical care and law suits are single case experiments. Parametric statistics does not apply (based on bell curves describing large populations distributions). A series of single case trials has another distribution, another curve.

You are righ about Tilson's fallacious argument. Med mal is anti-scientific for several reasons.

1) Medieval torts doctrine talks of chains of events in a line. Modern accident analysis views accidents as stemming from clusters of coinciding factors, around 12 in a plane crash or a car crash. The medical decision may be only one of many factors, and weak. The concept of proximate cause, uninterrupted by an unforeseen intervening cause, making legal causation is ridiculous. Its falsity violates the procedural due process right of doctors and other defendants to a fair hearing.

2) Experts will discuss studies of large populations in testimony, even in a Daubert hearing. These studies' parametric statistics do not apply to the single case experiment design of the case.

3) Torts do not improve medicine as Tilson claims. They induce the cover up of valuable data that would serve the continuous improvement process and catastrophe investigation. They induce a bunch of defensive medicine.

The cost of the latter would fund top of the line coverage for most of the uninsured if we could get rid of the tort lawyer predator.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | January 4, 2007 8:08 AM

You are misquoting me and misstating my position.

We need to look at the injuries in tort cases and find ways to prevent them. That is what was done with the Anesthesia Closed Claims Database. Looking at the close anesthesia claims, the rate of anesthesia accidents was reduced from one in 5000 surgeries to one in 300,000 procedures.

Recently, a prominent obstetrician at the University of Michigan suggested that obstetricians do the same thing.

Studying closed malpractice claims provides an opportunity, a proven opportunity, to reduce prevalent medical errors.

Litigated malpractice claims are a motherlode of information about how to prevent injuries. The problem is that most in the medical community refuse to consider the evidence.

The problem is that the same patterns of injuries keep recurring. The same kinds of medical errors lead to the same kind of malpractice cases.

The prominent Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimates that for every 100 hospitalizations, there are 40 to 50 errors that lead to injury.

I am concerned about eliminating those 40 to 50 errors.

Can we find ways to work together to eliminate some of those errors?

Or do you really believe that the whole problem is the 1 or 2 of those 40 to 50 injuries that result in litigation?

Whether you think the malpractice cases have merit, the study of those cases eliminated 59 out of 60 anesthesia accidents. Do you believe it was good to eliminate those anesthesia accidents? That could not have been done without the lawsuits. Elimination of those injuries and deaths was made possible by a study of those lawsuits.

Even if you think the lawsuits are a bad idea, why not study the ones that are available? Why not eliminate the associated injuries?

Lee

Posted by: Lee Tilson | January 4, 2007 4:37 PM

CHALLENGE TO SUPREMACY CLAUS:

SUPREMACY CLAUS SAYS:

The cost of the latter would fund top of the line coverage for most of the uninsured if we could get rid of the tort lawyer predator.

Lee Tilson challenges Supremacy Claus to find one shred of evidence to support this claim.

After 24 years of litigating malpractice cases, mostly obstetrical cases, I can assure you that I have never heard discussions in court of medieval doctrines he mentions in one. Perhaps he can give an example of the second point. It is difficult to comment on it in a vacuum.

I never claims that torts improve medicine.

My claim is that the Anesthesia Closed Claims Project has reduced anesthesia accidents dramatically. Does Supremacy Claus dispute this?

My claim is that a prominent obstetrician has suggested a study of closed claims might reduce obstetrical cases. Is Supremacy Claus disagree with this obstetrician.

My claim is that the study of closed malpractice claims has the potential to reduce medical errors and malpractice litigation. Does he dispute this?

My claim is that prominent American corporations believe that medical errors contribute to the skyrocketing cost of health care.

My invitation to Supremacy Claus, Ted Frank, and anyone else is to work with me to try to reduce medical errors.

At least can we agree to one point:

Medical errors are a bad thing.

Do Supremacy Claus and Ted Franks agree that medical errors are a bad thing?

Posted by: Lee Tilson | January 4, 2007 4:57 PM

Defensive medicine accounts for 8% of the health budget. What is the total cost of health care? What is 8% of that? What is the cost of a top health insurance policy in a group plan? How many could be purchased if we got rid of the lawyer? This is 4th grade math, well within the math ability of the lawyer, which stops at the need to count money.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | January 4, 2007 10:02 PM