Doctor Speaks Out Against Medical Malpractice Bill in New Ad

Other Doctors Agree: Juries, Not Politicians, Should Decide What’s Right in Each Case RALEIGH, N.C., May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — In a new television ad, a North Carolina doctor speaks out against a bill to limit the rights of injured patients. In the spot, produced by the NC Advocates for Justice, Dr. John Faulkner recounts how his wife was badly disfigured in a preventable operating room fire, and criticizes Senate Bill 33.  The controversial legislation sets a one-size-fits-all cap on medical malpractice damages for disfigurement, mutilation, loss of limb, paralysis, pain, suffering, blindness and death. In one version of the ad — ready for viewing at www.LetJuriesDecide.com and running throughout the state — Dr. Faulkner specifically references Sen. Bob Rucho, one of SB 33’s sponsors, saying:   “My wife underwent a simple outpatient surgical procedure.  The unimaginable happened — an operating room fire … Operating room fires should never happen — that’s malpractice.  Sen. Bob Rucho voted to cut damages for disfigurement caused by malpractice.  The State House disagrees.  It says let juries decide, not politicians.” In an earlier letter to lawmakers, Dr. Faulkner wrote, “No one can put a ‘cap’ on my wife’s pain and disfigurement – so how can the legislature put a cap on what it’s worth? … Why do you think it’s fairer for legislators to decide, rather than juries?” Other doctors have also spoken out against SB 33.  Dr. Martin Brooks, an award-winning physician with a career spanning 50 years, has advised legislators that an arbitrary cap on damages for severely injured patients “will reduce the quality of medical care given to the people of North Carolina.” Dr. Brooks, a member of the Board of Trustees of Southeastern...

Malpractice Insurers Grab Record Profits While Politicians Shortchange Horribly Injured Patients

MAG Mutual and Medical Mutual Celebrate Riches, Say Consumer Advocates, as Insurance Lobbyists and Republican Lawmakers Push for More RALEIGH, N.C., May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A record dividend by one of the state’s largest medical insurance companies puts the lie to political assertions that doctors here face a crisis in medical malpractice cases, the NC Advocates for Justice said today. MAG Mutual recently announced its largest stockholders dividend in history, $16.5 million.  A note to policyholder-owners crowed, “This is the fifth year in a row a dividend has been declared. Your physician-owned company has now made distributions in 13 of the last 17 years, totaling $93 million.” Yet despite the insurance company’s surging profitability, insurance lobbyists are aggressively pushing for a one-size-fits-all cap on damages in malpractice cases resulting in mutilation, disfigurement, loss of limbs, blindness and other terrible and preventable injuries. “Republican leaders are putting profits over people.  Insurance lobbyists and GOP lawmakers seek to justify stripping patients’ rights by claiming doctors need relief from high insurance premiums while, in fact, doctor-owned insurance companies are making record profits,” said Dick Taylor of the NCAJ.  “Republican leaders should re-prioritize by putting patient safety far above insurance company profits.” MAG Mutual controls 18 percent of the North Carolina market, according to a 2009 report by the NC Department of Insurance.  Medical Mutual Insurance Company, with 33 percent of the market, has also posted record-breaking profits. SB 33 is now the subject of concurrence negotiations between the Senate and House.  Politicians supported by insurance lobbyists are attempting to kill a bipartisan House amendment that would exempt the most extreme malpractice cases from the arbitrary cap. For more information, please...

More NC Senate Bill 33 News

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