Monday, August 16, 2004

Edwards Stomped on the Little Guy

The Washington Post reports on the malpractice lawsuits running rampant in Edward's home state of North Carolina and Edward's personal part in the problem.

"The John Edwards we know crushed [obstetrics, gynecology] and neurosurgery in North Carolina," said Dr. Craig VanDerVeer, a Charlotte neurosurgeon. "As a result, thousands of patients lost their health care."

"And all of this for the little people?" he asked, a reference to Mr. Edwards' argument that he represented regular people against mighty foes such as prosperous doctors and big insurance companies. "How many little people do you know who will supply you with $60 million in legal fees over a couple of years?"

We need tort reform right away. I'm not sure why we haven't heard more about it in the past 4 years than we have. I'd like to hear what both candidates have to say about it and make it a central theme in the campaigns. Democrats don't want any changes and if they have to make changes, as ineffective as possible. Republicans have talked about a limit on punitive damage awards.

I agree with the limit on punitive damages, but I don't think it goes far enough. I think that on top of that limit, it should be law that in any case thrown out for being frivolous, the plaintive should be responsible for all court costs. I think that this way, people and their lawyers will at least make sure they have a valid case instead of bringing a case that they know is frivolous in hopes of a quick settlement with the insurance company. Until there is some responsibilities placed on the plaintive, things will only get worse.