I was consulted today by the mother of a young girl who went to the hospital Emergency room in Sarasota three times in less than a week. Each time she was sent home with little or no care. Turns out she had acute pancreatic. Within days it caused anoxic brain damages and she went into a coma for two months.
It was all preventable with reasonable medical care, and should have never happened at all. She spent months in a rehab center. Miraculously she is now just learning to walk and talk all over again.
A very fine medical malpractice law firm was called to take the case. However, the emergency room in the Sarasota Hospital where this all happened is part of the State of Florida. It is a state agency, just like Halifax Hospital and some other regional hospitals. The State of Florida allows lawsuits to be filed for up to $100,000 for damages caused by its hospitals. This is called Sovereign Immunity. Because of the immunity, and the fact that it would cost at least $100,000 to sue the Sarasota Hospital, the medical malpractice claim was rejected by the medical malpractice law firm. Economic realities make it impossible to sue on a contingency fee basis even where the damages are horrendous and a person’s life is taken away.
The $100,000 max is a type of cap on damages which most people don’t know about. There are other caps too, like the cap on punitive damages which most jurors don’t know about. Juries are not told about these caps because the legislature will not allow judges to explain the law to juries: it makes the juries mad at lawyers and judges. Their anger should be at the stupidos in the Florida legislature. The legislators who bow and scrape for the lobbyists think they are doing a good thing protecting the public purse. What is really wild about this is that oftentimes the hospital has a $10,000,000 insurance policy to fall back on. But it can’t be touched. Duh?
When someone is severely injured guess who winds up footing the bill when there is no insurance? The taxpayers do, through welfare programs like medicaid and social security disability. That is what is called government malpractice.
in my opinion the only way to fix it is to elect people who care more about others than the bottom dollar.