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Minnesota Association For Justice's Statement On AP Medical Malpractice Poll

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ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL: MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT TO SUE FOR MEDICAL ERROR

Minnesota legal group says the AP poll oversimplifies the malpractice debate and ignores accountability of insurers and providers.

(Minneapolis, MN)- The Minnesota Association for Justice (MNAJ) responded to results released today from an Associated Press (AP) poll which claims that a majority in the U.S. approve of stricter controls on individuals seeking accountability for medical malpractice as inaccurate, misleading and does little to enhance the debate on health care reform.

Michael A. Bryant an attorney practicing in Minnesota and the current President of the Minnesota Association for Justice said the poll, conducted by Stanford University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the AP, “asks the question in a way that the respondent is to believe that limits on malpractice accountability would substantially lower consumer insurance and health care costs in the United States. The problem is there is simply no evidence to support either outcome.”

Claims that restricting legal remedies for medical malpractice would lower insurance rates for physicians and hospitals is in direct conflict with data released last month by the Medical Liability Monitor, a respected annual publication of malpractice rates across the country. The Medical Liability Monitor’s research show that there is no relation to rates between states that cap damage awards and states that don’t—and in many cases states that limit damages actually have significantly higher premiums.
“This poll distracts from concrete facts that show that limiting our ability to be fully compensated for negligent sub-standard medical care will not result in insurance premiums reductions,” Bryant added.

Minnesota does not limit the amount of actual damages a jury can award, and in 2008, ranked 50th lowest in medical malpractice insurance premiums. Minnesota’s courts have seen a 40% decline in medical malpractice filings, while leading the nation in many health care outcome measures.

“As the debate on health care reform heats up in the coming days, policy makers must embrace a comprehensive set of solutions that focus on quality care, patient safety, accountability for providers and insurers, and protection of all patients in the health care system.” Bryant stated.

The Minnesota Association for Justice is a professional association of attorneys who represent Minnesotans wrongfully harmed or injured in person, property or human rights. MNAJ defends the rights guaranteed by the Constitutions and laws of the United States and Minnesota, foremost among them the right to a trial by jury and advocates for public policy to enhance consumer rights and protection.

2 Comments

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  1. andrea says:
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    I am not a litigious person. I am upset though by the lack of accountibity for medical professionals. I would gladly like to see lawsuits enhanced by rigorous discipline of doctors.

    A malpractice suit usually has to be fairly clearcut or the individual must be able to afford a retainer to proceed.This leaves out many who may be the most vulnerable to some of the medical communities mistakes, and harm.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Right now the battle is over the restriction of consumers rights. You are like so many of our clients, who have no interest in ever being involved in a case. But, through no fault of their own are forced into protecting themselves and their families. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.