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Comments

Anonymous coward

Actually, it's "John Edwards's cash cow", not "John Edwards' cash cow".

Miss Thistlebottom

Actually, dearie, the author is punctiliously correct in this possessive formation. Exceptions are made when the possessive "s" is added to a noun ending in "s" when the second "s" will not be pronounced. And in this case, where the pronunciation of the second "s" would create an annoying sibilant buzz (Edwards's), it is wise and correct to make the possessive without the second "s".

According to the American Heritage's Book of English Usage:

...in a few cases where the -’s is not pronounced, it is usual to add just the apostrophe: for righteousness’ (appearance’) sake

Miss Thistlebottom

Aaron

I'm curious - in what jurisdiction does this fanciful state of affairs exist, where lawyers get to decide what constitutes malpractice, and don't even need a physician's testimony to back up their claims?

How does Michigan's experience prove that damages caps, limiting recovery for the most severely injured malpractice victims, "work"? Or do you rule out all relevant examples before pontificating about the conduct of one insurance company in one state.

And why, if the Texas malpractice insurance increases were due to the absence of damages caps, haven't malpractice insurance premiums halved now that caps are in place?

CBB MD

Venal MD's who testify as part of this obscene scam don't get a pass from me.

The essential issue is that screening applicants based on the potential payout that might be won is a dumb, inefficient way to look for malpractice; tell me why ancillary uninsured caregivers don't get sued? Because there's no money in it. Why do physicians go bare and protect their assets? Because they know the torters will be reluctant to come after them if there isn't enough cash in the process.

So, the pontificating isn't coming from me -- look to the torters who stand there in public (John Edwards?) and tell people they are in this business to "protect patients."

That's a lie.

And if you don't think insurance rates go down when there is adequate competition and the insurance companies have to pay out less in damages, then you need more schoolin'.

John Peick

Dear Dr. Boyle:

With all due respect, treating doctors testify for patients in tort cases all the time. Are they venal and subject to censure by your standards? What about the examiners who are routinely engaged by insurers because their opinions uniformly cut off care? Are they high or low on your totem pole?

If attorneys are not protecting the rights of their client/patients, then exactly who do you beleive is engaged in such protection? The allegedly offending physician? The adverse insurance company? The health plan for the patient trying to avoid excessive payouts? The state health plan or workmen compensation agency trying to stay "in the black"? The sad reality is that whatever you might think about attorneys and their motivation, they are usually the only person who is looking out for the patient in any capacity. Without lawyers to protect their rights, injured citizens would be adrift in a sea of apathy and self-interest. You might not like the target of that protection, but share with me who will protect the patient in your world view.

As for lawyers making decisions on the net worth of a prospective defendant, on what planet do we decide to spend thousands of dollars litigating against a party that is judgment proof or has no prayer in hell of paying the judgment. This analysis of the cost-benefit of litigation occurs across the entire spectrum of representing consumers, businesses, and professionals like you. Haven't you ever heard of triage?

Keep up the good work in the other areas of your endeavors. :)

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