Alert: Lawsuit Abuse! Lawsuit Abuse! | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Alert: Lawsuit Abuse! Lawsuit Abuse!

I hear stories like this one and I get furious at the people who refuse to understand that the most important use of lawsuits is to financially deter crap like this from happening:

Staffing was so inadequate at a California senior center that a rat crawled into an Alzheimer's patient's mouth and died there before staff noticed, a lawsuit claims. The lawsuit, filed Thursday on behalf of 90-year-old Sigmund Bock, alleges that administrators at the Paragon Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Mission Viejo overbooked their facility to receive corporate bonuses, but cut back on staff to increase profits.

"The facility so literally ignored the needs of their residents ... as to allow vermin in the form of a rat to become lodged in the mouth of Sigmund Bock and die therein," the lawsuit alleges.

Previous Comments

ID
112148
Comment

Corporate America at it's finest. Ya'll like your new world yet?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-04-07T09:12:55-06:00
ID
112149
Comment

That's just nasty - and sad. This has me thinking about when my late grandmother was abused in a nursing home. She has a big black eye when she passed away in 1992. I didn't view the body. I couldn't. The nursing home blamed the injury on her bed rails. Right after she died, my mom went to the nursing home to collect her mother's things, and there was padding on the bed rails. A little too late, don't you think? Anyway, the nursing home gave my mom a Bible in a wooden case as a sympathy gift. The only reason my mom hasn't thrown it away is because it's a Bible. Looking at it brings back awful memories, so it's always buried under a bunch of stuff so we don't have to look at it. My mom wanted to sue the nursing home. She had the pictures to prove it and still has them. Someone told her to wait a while because my grandma just died and the ordeal of rehashing what happened in court would be too traumatic for her. Unfortunately, she misunderstood and thought the person was saying that she shouldn't sue at all. By the time she thought about suing again, the statute of limitations had run out. It's a shame because my mom had to go into debt to keep my grandma in that facility.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-04-07T09:34:10-06:00
ID
112150
Comment

I would bet $10 that the rat was placed there, and didn't crawl in by itself.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-04-07T09:56:32-06:00
ID
112151
Comment

Which brings up the even nastier question: Who the hell would do that and why?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-04-07T10:54:04-06:00
ID
112152
Comment

Ironghost, whoever did it and why someone would do that... I have no idea. But... that person still needs a good old fashioned passionate *ss whoopin.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-04-07T16:35:43-06:00
ID
112153
Comment

There's a lot of people who need one, but it won't happen. Justice doesn't exist.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-04-07T18:43:56-06:00
ID
112154
Comment

Please do not title this lawsuit abuse, This is the title for everyone looking to bash plaintiff lawyers. If this happened, the family deserves compensation. If this was faked, the family needs to be prosecuted on fraud charges and the lawyer sanctioned under rule 11. To state abuse of lawsuits is short sighted. Everyone said to sue tobacco companies was wrong. They said the same thing about suing Ford when Pintos exploded. It is abuse when there is no claim. Funny when people walk into the office, really having a sever injury ,sometimes caused by malpractice or just happen stance. these clients are usually well off and I tell them that they can't recover enough to cover even my costs of the suit, much less their medical bills, they always respond "I am not some black chick trying to get paid (usually they use a racist name)" "I (or my family) actually has gotten screwed" I get to say, "No matter you are also limited in your recovery, that is the law" that is tort reform It is true, the most demanding client is the doctor that has been rear-ended and demands JUSTICE and all his costs AGamma627

Author
AGamm627
Date
2007-04-11T22:40:29-06:00
ID
112155
Comment

It's not "journalism" to blog about an "alleged" incident without checking the facts. These allegations are lifted from a filing by a plaintiff. As the CL says, it's "one side of a legal argument." It ain't necessarily so. HDMatthias, MD

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2007-04-12T19:45:21-06:00
ID
112156
Comment

You are right that it is one side of a legal argument, but you are wrong that it is not "journalism" to report on legal filings. Get down off that horse, HD MD.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-04-12T20:29:54-06:00
ID
112157
Comment

It's not medicine to stich up a guys leg and leave a piece of 'chicken wire' in a wound either!

Author
Truthseeker
Date
2007-04-12T20:59:08-06:00
ID
112158
Comment

Brian, You do a great job at the JFP. However nowhere in Ladd's blog does she even allude to the fact that this story might not be true. That, IMHO, is lousy journalism. Nothing personal. But Donna is a teacher of journalism, and, I suspect, a damn good one. She should be able to stand up to the same type of criticism I'm sure she dishes out to her students. All this inflammatory blog does is whip up sentiment against "greedy" medical corporations. I'll be the first one in line to call a spade a spade when it comes to medical errors, and I have done this often in my professional life. Not only do we physicians make mistakes (imagine!) but the complexities of medical care (which include both technology and human behavior) have not yet caught up with the system analyses which could help avoid these errors, thus leading to failure of important fail-safe mechanisms. The study of error in the long road to the delivery of safe medical care is a very important topic, and medicine is taking this very seriously. (I refer you to the Institute of Medicine's website.) www.iom.edu There are enough proven bad things happening in the medical world that you (all) should not have to stoop to yellow journalism to prove your point. You would have served your cause by writing a cogent argument for the need for torts. BTW, I've got an umbrella open here to help with the certain-to-come torrents of anti-physician/anti-medicine responses, so let it rip. No plaintiff lawyers allowed. :>)

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2007-04-12T21:47:22-06:00
ID
112159
Comment

Brian, the story as written above before you link to the AP story makes it seem as if its a true story, not a claim by a party in a lawsuit. In fact, Donna's opening paragraph makes it seem as if the story is true. You don't find out it is a claim by a party to a lawsuit until you open the link.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-12T22:02:00-06:00
ID
112160
Comment

Mr. MD, Don't forget all the perks you fellows get from the drug companys. Have you signed on to the 'no free lunch' gig on the Interent? Along with all your responsibilty usally comes a hefty pay check, rightfully so, may I add. But, on the other hand, you need to understand that it's about the patients you see not the number you see! You guys have so tough! Oh by the way over 90% of cases (medical mal-practice) brought before the court the plaintiffs lose!

Author
Truthseeker
Date
2007-04-13T12:14:41-06:00
ID
112161
Comment

Doctors don't want to be sued for anything, not even when they leave the saw, chair or table in your body after the operation. They want you to be on time, but I'm yet to see one of them call me back at the time given me. They will let you die to keep from getting exposed to liability. I know of a case where a very sick patient ran her car into the doctor's office while having an attack of some sort causing her to blank out. Neither of the two doctors would go outside and render care to their patient following the accident. They asked someone to call an ambulance to take the women to a hospital. I lost quite a bit of respect for lots of my doctor friends when many said they would quit medicine if Hillary or anyone else succeeded at national health care. They all put selfish motive (mean green) above what is best for most or all of us. Then to see them at the Capital fighting for tort reform for drug companies who own many of them, I got sick and needed to see a doctor. To which they all said ____ you. However, whenever I get sick, I show want to see a good doctor. Cheers HD.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-04-13T12:40:29-06:00
ID
112162
Comment

Hey, I'm sure this only happened once (if at all), mistreatment goes on in every part of our culture! Why pick on these wonderful Doctors and the medical profession who dedicate their lives to the care of others. Besides, maybe this old lady deserved a rat in her mouth. Most of these guys have got a ego a mile long that comes from so many years of being put on a thrown! There was a day when they and the preacher were the most respected folk in town, till others started to get educated! Let one of them, God forbid, have a family member hurt because of neglect! Most lawsuits of the civil type are business's sueing other business, but this is quite all right! Remember the rich man gets richer, the poor man gets children! Money talks and bulls*#t walks!! That site I mentioned earlier is: www.nofreelunch.org

Author
Truthseeker
Date
2007-04-13T14:30:15-06:00
ID
112163
Comment

Thanks, Kingfish. Ray, I'm ashamed at you. You, of all folks, should understand that all the hype and invective thrown at physicians and lawyers usually comes from somewhere else, often jealousy. I, by the way, would consider retiring if HiliaryCare became the law of the land. I do not want to have more government as my employer under any circumstances. Having to deal wth private insurance companies is bad enough. You, as a lawyer, certainly understand that your work involves a relationship between you and your client. Ray, BTW, when was the last time an insurance company told you how you were to enter into a relationship with your client, how you were to handle the case, and how much you'd be paid for your services? (I'm still agitating for LegalCare, a government-sponsored program for the elderly and those who make less than 200% of poverty. Lawyers will be OBLIGATED to "take" LegalCare. And your "fee" will be 10% of your usual fee. Let's see how honorable lawyers, or other professionals, become under this type of system.) Hey, Truthseeker and Ray. Haven't you (all) been watching the Imus affair? Assuming something (bad) about someone because of their race, gender, occupation, etc. is an "ism." You two are guilty of two "isms." You assume I accept payola from drug companies. The only money I exchange with drug companies and other medical vendors is when I shimmy up to the counter at Walgreens' pharmacy, or check any earnings in my mutual funds. I haven't sashayed with any pharmaceutical reps since medical school. In fact, my husband was a pharmaceutical rep for Dupont 25 years ago, and I wouldn't even let him take me out to dinner when he was wooing me. And by the way, error number 2 is--" ain't no mister." Call me (Ms.) Dr. Matthias. Oops!!!! And guess what, Ray? I stopped stopping at car accidents a long time ago, other than to make sure that the EMT's are there and don't need my help. Despite the fact that I used to train the EMT's, I've learned that I ruin their routine, and upset their good care. And I hate to tell you that a physician without a defibrillator or other medical tools is no more useful at a "patient down" situation than any one else who knows CPR. We ain't God, despite what you think, and what you think WE think. :>) I have to admit it, I don't want to be sued for anything. Who in their right mind, would? (I also don't want to pay taxes, clean my room, weigh myself, or exercise.) I would like lawyers to have it easy and convenient to get sued for their own incompetence. If/when they go through this themselves, they'd be less likely to file as quickly. And don't tell me that the same level of incompetence doesn't happen in the legal field as in the medical field. Well, I'm out of here to attend a lavish dinner sponsored from some medical supply company, during which a restaurant patron will pass out, and I will quietly ring 911 and duck into the bathroom. Then I'll call MY lawyer!!! Cherrio! Hey, Truthseeker. Please use the spellchecker. Thrown is not throne. HDM

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2007-04-13T16:13:55-06:00
ID
112164
Comment

Ray: If you had BOTHERED to read her health care plan you would have seen why they said what they did about retiring. It would've been an unmitigated disaster. I still have a copy of it. I'll be more than happy to send you one. truthseeker: that was a cheapshot against doctors. You're a punk. Next time you get sick or in a wreck, go fix your own self up since you hold them in such low esteem.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-13T16:19:44-06:00
ID
112165
Comment

Dr. HDM, Spellchecker doesn't pick up homonyms. Or typos. Cheerio!

Author
emilyb
Date
2007-04-13T16:28:10-06:00
ID
112166
Comment

Doc, Got ya goat?? Now your going to attack me! I was talkin about yo profession. So, my written word don't met ya standards? Sorry big guy.. You still haven't answered my question.... did you sign up for NoFreeLunch? I don't claim to be book smart, that's not my bag... but you got the point????? Didn't ya???

Author
Truthseeker
Date
2007-04-13T17:00:27-06:00
ID
112167
Comment

you are right truth seeker. You definitely aren't smart. You couldn't even get her gender right. I wonder if you've ever taken free samples from a doctor instead of going and getting a prescription at the pharmacy and paying for it. If you have, then STFU.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-13T17:06:27-06:00
ID
112168
Comment

Kingfish, What's a punk? You talk about gettin in the gutter.... I think a few toes is sore!

Author
Truthseeker
Date
2007-04-13T17:06:57-06:00
ID
112169
Comment

Kingfish, I got family that are doctor's and lawyers too... They put their pants on just like I do.....I'm just speakin from experience.. I been around awhile.. You?

Author
Truthseeker
Date
2007-04-13T17:15:55-06:00
ID
112170
Comment

I know enough about the professions to not smear the whole lot of them. Doctors do a lot of good work and have their share of bad apples like every other profession. They also sacrifice a helluva lot more than alot of other professions. Smearing them like you did is nothing but a cheap shot.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-04-13T17:18:03-06:00
ID
112171
Comment

Kingfish, Cheapshot..... as I said bull$@&t walks...... They got the power to lobby down at the state house while workin folk is out trying to feed da family! Everybody can't be a scholar like you and the Doc.... Somebodies got to keep this place a runnin! What was cheap?

Author
Truthseeker
Date
2007-04-13T17:24:03-06:00
ID
112172
Comment

Just catching up on this one. First, lose the personal insults. Now. I've had a busy week, once again overtaken by Frank Melton and his Merry Band of Attorneys, and I'm in no mood for a bunch of insults flying on my Web site. Can it. Secondly, Doc, I don't need a scolding from you on my journalism in my blog posts. I posted a money quote and a link to an article, and if y'all aren't smart enough to read the full link before drawing your own conclusions, that's not my problem. I'm sending you there; go if you want. But don't scold me, dear. I'm not in the mood for that, either. Never am, in fact. And, yes, journalists report all the time on stuff alleged in lawsuits. There is no smoking gun here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-04-13T17:54:50-06:00
ID
112173
Comment

Also, I don't know a single person I respect who would care about whether they "shame" you. With due respect. Finally, I don't know a soul personally who would stereotype that all doctors are bad. That's a red herring. But I wonder if you could say the same for folks who jump to stereotype all plaintiff lawyers. I get so tired of that stereotypical crap about trial lawyers that it turns my stomach. Anybody who would say such thing is at least acting like a buffoon.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-04-13T17:55:38-06:00
ID
112174
Comment

I might not know how to string the King's english but I do know that all this tort reform crap is just that, CRAP! ATTENTION: all regular folk! Unless you got a Ph. D. in English from Yale you can't blog with the 'fish' or MRS Dr... I 'm always hearing from the right about this leftist elitism. Um, I guess I just got a chip on my country fried shoulder! I'm doin fine, by the way, I just sent a couple of bills to Uncle Sugar to spend over in Iraq! No tax shelter for this ole boy! And I been around the block a few times. I didn't fall off the turnip truck, I was drivin it!

Author
Truthseeker
Date
2007-04-13T22:51:23-06:00
ID
112175
Comment

Donna: You're very wrong on this one. The LEAD into your story reads "I hear stories like this one and I get furious at the people who refuse to understand that the most important use of lawsuits is to financially deter crap like this from happening:" Are these your words? If not, I apologize. If they are, I stand by my previous post that your lead words imply that this story is true, and that "these types of stories" confirm your belief in the need for lawsuits "to financially deter CRAP (emphasis mine) like this from happening." The reason I even stumbled upon this article was because of the sensational manner in which it was displayed. Come on Donna, fess up. When you're wrong, you're wrong. :>) HDM Truthseeker-----I'm a FEMALE.

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2007-04-13T23:05:37-06:00
ID
112176
Comment

What if we had socialized legal aid where gov't mandated how much we could charge?

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-04-13T23:14:46-06:00
ID
112177
Comment

You're very wrong on this one. The LEAD into your story reads Oh, there goes Ms. Doc-the-trial-lawyer-despiser, declaring that someone with a different opinion is "wrong." Stop it, Doc. You don't have the right to call me "wrong" here, and you haven't made any viable argument that I am wrong. State your opinion if you like, but don't start excoriating me on this issue. I've done my homework AND I have my own opinion based on it. There is nothing "wrong" about that. "I hear stories like this one and I get furious at the people who refuse to understand that the most important use of lawsuits is to financially deter crap like this from happening:" Yes, that is exactly what I wrote and exactly what I meant. Allow me to restate it in terms that maybe you'll understand: "I hear stories like this one and I get furious at the people who refuse to understand that the most important use of lawsuits is to financially deter crap like this from happening:" Got it? There is nothing "wrong" about me saying that I hear stories about horrible things done to people and believe that the only way many of these things of horrors will be deterred is through the threat of expensive lawsuits. It's funny to watch you try to chop me up on a topic you get so emotional over. (Note the use of the words "like this one" and "like this"—those words alone knock the breath out of the way you have tried to criticize my post. It's interesting to me that you're spending more time excoriating me than arguing some point—which I can see why. You're going to have a hard time coming up with a viable argument on this one. I'm not stereotyping all doctors, or anyone else, as you are trying to do with plaintiff attorneys. You're at a position of weakness in this one out of the gate, thus.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-04-14T08:30:39-06:00
ID
112178
Comment

Plintiff lawyers do countless wonderful things to force justice to transpire. The advice and presence of a plaintiff lawyers made me and my comrades pay people fairly when I was employed by State Farm (which many lawyers refer to as Snake Farm). Once I was forced by my superiors to offer $75,000.00 to settle a case worth our whole policy limit of $1,250.000.00. I refused to do it alone and my immediate boss went with me. Luckily, the man had talked to a plaintiff lawyer and demanded $750,000.00 instead which I was too glad to give him. Mind you, he desrved the whole amount for his outstanding daughter who was killed by one of our drunk insureds. The record book is replete with stories where plaintiff lawyers forced coroprations, businesses and powerful people to act justly. Sure there has been some abuse, and too many lawyers are in it for the money. Kingfish, I know exactly why my firiends were/are against any plan of national health care. Greed and selfish interests were/are the bulk of the reasons. You're right Doc, jealousy is a factor. I had a conversation with many of my doctor friends after seeing them at the Capital fighting for tort deform. One of them came straight out and said "y'all should only be able to make a little money at a time just like us." Tell me this isn't jealousy. This doctor is also married to a doctor who happens to be a specialist. Why was she still jealous? Only a very few lawyers win those very big judgments that survive the appellate courts. The abuse and wronging of poor, unsophisticated, and weak by businesses, corporations and other people can never equate to the mere number of lawsuits filed. Without the suits the above entities would really go wild. Doc, I agree lots of doctors have been unjustly sued; yet only a few ever prevail against y'all. And y'all have the best defense money can buy. When y'all lose, you probably deserve to. Doc, I agree that your insurance coverage is too high. Y'all need much help and forgiveness in that regard.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-04-14T10:31:04-06:00
ID
112179
Comment

Donna: We're never going to agree on this one. However, I'd like to submit your lead to a journalism class discussing "misleading journalism" and see what a group of instructors at a non Ivy-league, liberal graduate school in journalism would say. How you can deny that your lead is anything other than misleading remains a mystery to me. The facts are these (about your story)--a "usual" reader would come away from your lead believing that this story was true, and that your "comment" of disgust would give extra credence to its veracity. It appears that physicians are not the only folks who can't admit their own mistakes. :>) Donna, you're also wrong about my NOT arguing my own points. My previous posts have argued a few: 1. I've argued that there is nothing in your article that proves that this event actually happened. 2. That physicians and medical systems make many mistakes, some egregious, some fatal. However, in general, folks in the medical world do not practice their professions with an ideology, a slant, an "agenda." 3. That institutional medicine recognizes how often errors can occur in extremely complicated systems, and is constantly searching for protocols insuring as many checks and balances as is possible. Believe it or not, we actually want health care delivered in as efficient and safe setting as possible. Believe me, it makes our own lives much more enjoyable, restfull, fulfilling. WE HATE MISTAKES AND ERRORS AS MUCH AS YOU. BTW, did you go to the website of the Institute of Medicine? They are a very powerful organization whose only raison d'etre is the improvement of health care delivery. Cheers, HDM

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2007-04-14T10:48:55-06:00
ID
112180
Comment

Good Doc, First, this is not a news story or "article" that you're complaining about, and it doesn't remotely resemble one. It is a blog posting on my personal blog with one statement of opinion by me about stories "like" the one told in the piece, and a money quote leading to an outside source. By its very nature, it's supposed to be my opinion about something I've read. That's *exactly* what it is. And it links out to the original source, so people can read it and draw their own conclusions as they will. What you're doing is attacking the messinger on this rather than the message, and it makes you sound really silly. The funny part is that my statement does not depend on whether the facts are true or not. I have no reason to believe they're not—but the point is that horrors do happen, and we need the threat of expensive pay-outs to keep them at a minimum. You will also note that neither my comment nor the news story in any way implies that all doctors are bad. Your logic is sorely amiss here in your rush to bash all plaintiff attorneys and all beliefs that we sorely need the thread of serious lawsuit pay-outs in order to deter the kinds of abuses that are committed by *some* doctors and corporations. No one had said that all doctors are bad. And I have made no argument that good doctors don't hate negligence and mistakes; why wouldn't they? I also don't say that all plaintiff lawyers are virtuous. Obviously they're not. However, stupidly stereotyping them all as simply evil and greedy does them as much of a disservice as it would if I stupidly tried to say that all doctors are bad. I would never do that, of course. I don't believe it, and I sure wouldn't want to sound that ignorant by spewing such stereotypes. I don't have a dog in the hunt between doctors and lawyers. I do, however, care deeply in the people's ability to hold institutions, doctors, corporations and individuals accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, often the only way to do that is to set examples with expensive lawsuits. It's sad that that is so often the only way, but I didn't make that be the case. You're shooting blanks here, Doc.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-04-14T11:38:31-06:00
ID
112181
Comment

Donna: Those institutions also include journalism, too. Ok, uncle! Your lead was not bad journalism (it was, after all, a "blog," your personal opinion). Fine, then. It revealed that your "personal opinion" doesn't require the ascertainment of fact before bellyaching about those big, bad, greedy American healthcare institutions. I remind you that my original complaint was about your obvious bias and the display of your blog that demonstrated that. I have not written on this thread about big, bad plaintiff attorneys, the righteousness of the medical profession, or hating attorneys in general. This is all "your stuff." I complained about your lack of truth in portraying this story. Nothing more, nothing less. I have yet to hear why you led off your blog a la H.L. Mencken. It appears that an admission of error by the writer is impossible in this case. I'm done with this thread. Love to all, HDMatthias, MD

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2007-04-14T15:56:46-06:00
ID
112182
Comment

Bias on the "Super Happy Jackson Free Press Hello Kitty Show?" Say it ain't so! I could NEVER imagine that happening. LOL!!! This thread was great to read and I'm so glad to see some more people stand up to some of the more, er, lets say "opposite of right leaning" opinions that are espoused on these forums. I have to watch what I say or I might just disappear. Sho' nuff, right Ray? LOL.

Author
Ole Miss Alum
Date
2007-04-14T16:18:32-06:00
ID
112183
Comment

Doc, now you're really funny. Of course I'm biased! So are you! So is every journalist out there. And I don't know any journalist who complains about the "institution" of journalism more than I do. One of the practices I despise the most are journalists who pretend to be "objective." They're lying. I don't. The question is, or should always be, what the bias is based on. My bias on this issue is based on months of research on the issues and hype around "tort reform" and "lawsuit abuse." I'm very confident in my opinions on this topic at this stage. I wasn't in the beginning until I did my homework. I do think it's funny that this particular thread is the one you decide to go ballistic over my bias on this topic on. It's really amusing when you actually re-read what I said—which was stating something incredibly obvious. If you're going to go gunning for bias in blogs, or journalism for that matter, you going to be a very busy doc. ;-) Otherwise, I'm quite familiar with your writings on this topic, and your views on the above-mentioned topics. They are quite well known in the community. And to you Alum, don't bother going down the road of stereotyping people on this blog. You're welcome to post here, along with the nearly 3,000 other members with varying views, as long as you don't start spewing ad hominems, like you just did. Your actions are your own personal responsibility.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-04-14T18:10:34-06:00
ID
112184
Comment

Can someone who blogs on Mississippi Politics please post how to get through to them, either via email or phone number? I can't register. Hey Ole Miss Alum, or Njam, help me out. Hey Ray C or Kingfish, help! Leave message at 601-856-7074. Sorry for this posting. HDMatthias

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2007-04-15T19:33:11-06:00

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