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Category: Big Payouts

As in Studies, Huge Medical Negligence Payouts Don’t Increase Health-care Expenses:

Big Compensation PayoutsJohn Hopkins’ researchers have come up with a study that indicates that huge medical negligence payouts are not driving health-care costs; instead it is the use of defensive medication wherein medical professionals rely on unnecessary medical tests in order to prevent lawsuits. According to a recent statement published by university on May 1, researchers have found malpractice compensating payouts of more than 1 million dollars. In fact, they have concluded from the study that total malpractice payments come up to 1.4 billion dollars per year, whereas screenings and tests performed in name of so called ‘defensive medication’ add more than 60 billion dollars annually to health care budget.

The study tells that a large proportion of medical negligence payouts consist of catastrophic payments that are mainly originated from the incidents such as brain damage, quadriplegia or anesthesia mistakes. The study has found after closely examining the medical records of the period between 2004 and 2010 that in total 77,621 malpractice claims were reported during the period of which catastrophic type claims were 6,130 or 7.9 percent of total. Among the most common reasons behind highly paid claims were surgical mistakes, obstetric problems or diagnostic errors.

Kenneth A. Wilhelm, a personal injury solicitor in New York, said that victims of medical negligence tend to undergo significant suffering. He also said that malpractice compensation is the only lifeline for such sufferers who desperately need this money to not only maintain their dignity but to have a better life quality.

All those unfortunate people who happen to be affected or injured by some medical negligence can claim their legal entitlements. They are legally allowed to file compensation claims for all of damages, losses and inflicted injuries. In most of negligence cases, such injuries would have entirely been prevented if doctors or other medical staff had taken safety precautions and necessary measures in account.

Mr. Kenneth A. Wilhelm works in a law firm particularly dedicated to deal with personal injury claims on behalf of its clients. This is an old and well-known firm that has been working for more than forty-one years. With its extensive experience in this domain, this firm is striving to win the maximum possible negligence compensation for all those clients who have either suffered some injuries, lost their loved ones in accidents or due to some medical negligence.

There is wide range of personal injury claims that this firm takes on, for instance, dental medical malpractice, roadside car accidents, medical negligence, worker’s injury compensation, wrongful deaths, rapes, comas, paralysis, slips and trips, wrong arrests, birth related injuries, cerebral palsy, brain injuries, and a long list of other injuries or accident cases.

If this study finding is unanimously accepted, it would help killing prevalent fears regarding reduction of malpractice compensation payouts. Moreover, it would relieve medical negligence law firms that fear cuts in their legal fee in case Government decides to cut down health-care costs.  However, it is generally being hoped that government would soon announce healthcare reforms to address defensive medication costs instead of reducing malpractice payouts.

Medical Malpractice and Catastrophic Payments

Big Compensation Payouts 2An article was been written by Terry Bayness belonging to Reuters, about a recent learning done by few physicians made on Hopkins finding which describe that big awards do not have much contribution in healthcare costs.  In this article, me and leading author of this research, Dr. M.Makary has been quoted in this regard.  My remarks on the issue have been shown as more skeptical about than actual and that made me to reflect more on the importance of this study

This study explains that the significant and big judgments that are over one million dollar actually are approximately 0.05% of the cost of the national healthcare as was measured in 2010.  I personally believe that all the recommendations and results obtained by Dr. Makary and his companions are mostly correct.  First, they have fond that these significant payouts are not a major part of the costs of health care.  Second, in his several interviews, Dr. Makary at least made arguments that due to unclear care standard, the use of defensive medicine is quite bigger expenditure that that of catastrophic payouts.  Third, if we acknowledge that this study in not including defensive medicine costs, the conclusions of the authors tell us that the amount of financial savings which comes from reforms pertaining to malpractice are very minimal with respect to other health care costs drivers.  Fourth, in his interview, Dr. Makary also argued that the reforms pertaining to malpractice should be more focused on the care standards and not on the caps.

First of all this study supports modestly, but at least a policy conclusion against caps.  The debate here is that the number of judgments related to large med mal; do not help in saving much money given the fact that the amount of these large judgments is generally very small.  However, there are some confusing variables involved in the study.  As a definition of catastrophic payouts, the study has used an amount of one million dollar or more.  While most of the caps are well below that one million dollar.  It is not very clear from the study that it differentiates between noneconomic and economic damages.  Although it is not a criticism, however I don’t have a believe that the source of this data i.e. National Practitioner Data Bank, also had made any distinction about it.  However, it helps in preventing a direct evaluation and relation between catastrophic payments and the caps should be operating on them.

There are many arguments certainly against the caps.  Reason being that these caps carry different impact on those people, who get injured seriously.  According to Tort law, the seriously injured people are being under compensated, and received only a small portion of economic loss while on the other hand those having minor injury are receiving several times of economic loss.  It is agreeable that the standard of care is a major part of the problem related to med mal litigation.  Last June, the law passed on New Hampshire’s early offers, was a good step in right direction.  It can be said an improvement in the current system, if not perfect.

Hospital pays millions of pound compensation

A ten year old child, who got cerebral palsy as a result of a medical negligence, has recently been given millions of pound compensation by National Health Service. 

Big Compensation PayoutsJamie Quinnell suffered oxygen starvation at the time of his delivery at Lister Hospital – doctors though witnessed some signs of distress in him but they did not take swift action. That caused the child a severe brain damage.

The Jamie Quinnell’s mom, Jane Quinnell, tells that a seven-figure compensating settlement has been agreed between the family and ‘East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’ in charge of the hospital. It has been decided that child would be given all support required to live a happy life.

After the final court hearing on this Friday, speaking about her long journey she said that reaching this point of settlement after ten long years is a big relief for her family. “I’ve been fighting for so long in order to get legal rights for my son, but now no more fight is needed and it is possible for me to entirely focus on giving my son a best possible life,” she added.

Jane Quinnell further said that she had struggled a lot with Jamie, and every milestone reached by him had been prideful for them. “Our family has always celebrated Jamie’s every little achievement; winning ‘Cubs task badge’ was a great moment for all of us. Though, Jamie would have to face challenges throughout his life, but we all want to give him as much normal life as possible. I personally want Jamie to try out everything that he wishes to do, even which would require some adaptation,” said Jane Quinnell.

The family’s lawyer told that compensation amount would help Jamie to get access to various resources that might enable him to get a successful life, and Jamie’s family would also be there to support him at every single step. According to the lawyer, catastrophic medical negligence occurred on 27th July 2002 at some stage in Jamie’s delivery, which eventually starved him of oxygen for more than thirteen minutes.

After claim filing by the victim family against hospital, the NHS trust had to admit its liability for the case and they promised to reach a case settlement by compensating Jamie for all type of support and care required in his life. The chief of medical negligence from JMW, Eddie Jones, told that Jamie’s both parents had tirelessly fought on behalf of their son.

He further said: “Jamie needs extensive care and I am glad that his parents no more need to worry about his lifelong expenses and look-after. The compensation would be given to cover all of his care costs throughout his life.”

Paul Rees QC, a NHS Trust’s representative, has given an open apology for this medical negligence that caused such severe injuries to Jamie. He also paid great tribute to Jamie’s parents who served him so long with dedication and patience. Though nothing can take the time back, but the only that can be done for Jamie is, provide him with more and more to support him, he added.

Clovis couple demands annulment of medical negligence payout limits

Big Compensation Payouts
Malpractice compensation caps have been challenged by a Clovis couple, who has signed up a union to oppose a 38-year old law in California that limits malpractice compensation payouts. As said by Linda Wilkinson and Doug, this law is unfair for the victim families as it limits the amount of non-economic payouts to 250,000 dollars.

Their beloved daughter Ms. Brittany Wilkinson, who was acting as advocate of disabled persons, died at Children’s Hospital Central California in 2009 allegedly due to medical negligence – the shunts placed to drain out fluid from her brain were negligently clamped.  She was eighteen years old at the time of her death. Mrs. Linda Wilkinson told that Brittany suffered a lot and she was in such a pain that she herself asked to kill her.

The couple has finally sued the hospital and all medical professionals in charge of treating their daughter. They also have joined up a group named ‘38 Is Too Late’ that has been aimed at revoking medical negligence caps. You would also find Brittany’s story published on the website launched by this group.

Since its enactment in 1975, MICRA (Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act) has always been debated. The opponents say that only healthcare providers and insurance firms have benefited from this law. While according to supporters of this law, the caps help to keep check on healthcare costs.

“We would not tolerate the continuation of this unjust law beyond 38 years which has let the doctors injure or even kill the patients without any culpability in California,” said Mr. Jamie Court, the president of ‘Consumer Watchdog’, a nonprofit organization in California that supports ‘38 Is Too Late’ campaign.

The group said when caps were stipulated 38 years back, a gas gallon was of 57 cents and the price of an average house was about 42,000 dollars. If they had adjusted the caps with inflation, it could have reached beyond 1 million dollars today, group told.  However, the other party ‘Californians Allied for Patient Protection’, which includes the members from hospitals, insurance and government, has countered this claim of the group and said that any increase in caps beyond 50,000 dollars would increase healthcare cost in the state manifold.

The current drive for eliminating caps has really become forceful as ‘38 Is Too Late’ group is bringing victim families to forefront for speaking against this law at all media platforms. This opposition has come at a time when government is going to announce healthcare reforms 2014, and it is being feared that costs would be increased in response to this protest.

It is being said that elimination of caps and increase in healthcare costs would not only raise insurance prices but also ask for more medical staff that has always been a challenge in California.

The State medical negligence law offer unlimited awards for economic losses, while caps just restrict non-economic losses in order to discourage meritless claim filing. But opponents of the law claim that caps squelches even legitimate suits and affects the lives of low income people.

Medical Negligence and appalling Compensation Payouts

A recent article written by Terry Baynes from Reuters has thrown light on the study conducted by a physicians’ team at John Hopkins according to which large medical negligence payouts don’t significantly contribute to healthcare expenses.
10366354_sAccording to this study, the catastrophic payments, which were almost more than one million dollars in 2010, account for just .05 percent of total healthcare cost. As per my opinion, the recommendations and inferences drawn by authors of this study are largely true. At first they have concluded that catastrophic payments are not a major contributor in healthcare expenses. Secondly, Dr. Makary, the leading author of the study, has determined that cost of defensive drugs is even more than these catastrophic payouts. Thirdly, the authors are of the opinion that only a minimal amount can be saved through medical negligence reforms as compared with other healthcare expenses. At last, as argued by Dr. Makary in interviews, medical negligence reforms should be focused on healthcare standard instead of caps.

This study, however, modestly supports anti-caps policy making. The argument has been made that eliminating just the tip of this iceberg would not do any help in minimizing healthcare expenses – Perplexing variables are working behind it. This study has defined one million dollar as catastrophic payment, for instance. In most of cases, these payouts are even less than one million. You would see that economic and non-economic losses have not been differentiated in this study. However, we cannot directly compare caps and catastrophic payments on such basis.

You would many arguments that might go against caps. Their impact is greater for severely injured people, while it is opposite for those who receive minor injuries. But, yes, I totally agree that medical negligence reforms will not help reducing healthcare costs. In recent March, several other issues contributing to these costs have been discussed by Steven Brill’s Time piece. However, it does not suggest that we don’t need reforms in the malpractice tort; it just says that reforms should be in view of other factors.

I also endorse the conclusion made by the study that quality of care is the main issue in this regard. Dr. Makary has referred to defensive drugs which are needed to make up for poor healthcare. Though it is difficult to measure it, but it does happen. The uncertainty prevailing about care standards also leads to transaction and delay costs.

Therefore, 3 main problems are created by uncertain care standards. First, all findings are not accurate. According to Stoddert study, medical errors can be determined at an accuracy rate of 70 to 75 percent. This study further says that 1 out of 6 medical negligence victims do not recover. It has also been discovered that cases with merit go unpaid more frequently than merit less claims are awarded.

Cuts to legal aid will see people priced out of justice

Big Compensation PayoutsTo anyone who is not a lawyer, our country’s legal system can seem a bit intimidating and incomprehensible, with the lawyer’s jargon and the suffocating courtrooms; it can be a downright nightmare to be tangled up in. This is ironically the exact opposite of intention with which it was envisioned. For our freedom and basic rights to have an inherent meaning, they have to be practically enforceable. Having effective access to the justice system is a keystone to liberal democracy.

It was with this vision that the legal aid system was created. It was meant to be an important pillar of our society alongside education and healthcare.

Unfortunately this valuable pillar of society has been under constant attacks. In April, for example, the budget cuts made to the civil legal aid program has put publicly paid legal advice out of the reach of the majority of the population. The groups of population most severely affected will be ones most in need including; the refuges, who come to this country fleeing prosecution, the children, families who are struggling with debt.

With the current cut to funding for legal aid, majority of cases involving debt, welfare benefits, immigration, family and education are no longer covered by the program. This will have a severe impact on human rights protection for these groups of the population as violations will go uncontested when the victims will not be able to afford the fight.

The complexities of the legal system make it near impossible for a layman to fight his or her own cases, which will have a negative economical impact, with cases dragging on while the common man tries to navigate the legal maze.

But wait! It is not over yet! The next round of the proposed budget cuts have a horrifying plan for the criminal legal aid program while further handicapping the civil legal aid program. The access to civil legal aid will be dependent on an arbitrary and most likely illegal residency test. Which will, in all likeliness lead to the creation of an underclass of people including those most susceptible to abuse, like the children?

In the criminal legal aid program, the legal fees will be cut across the sector with fixed charges imposed and private companies will be able to bid for contracts on legal aid. The criteria for a bid to be successful will be price alone, not the quality of the aid provided. All the current incentive to provide an acceptable above average legal representation will be lost the synchronization of the fees plus having no choice in who defends them may lead to defendants feeling pressured to plead guilty.

The decisions of our criminal courts affect millions and these “reforms” to the legal aid program will challenge the fair right of not only the defendants, but victims as well. These reforms won’t cut the pockets of the “hotshot” lawyers, but will put justice out of reach of all but the rich and powerful.

In just one year NHS negligence claims rises by total 20 percent

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After a chain of hospital scandals, the claims against NHS for their medical negligence have increased noticeably.

According to the official sources the figure of cases that are registered has amplified dramatically by 20 percent and that too only in one year. Also the latest forecast shows that the statement for this slackness will reach £ 19 million. This amount is one fifth of the NHS budget in total.

Around 16,000 of patients or the relatives of the patients have filed complaints and claims against the health service in 2012-2013. In the previous year the figure was 13,517 and this is a rise of 18.4 percent. All the experts have to say is that this is nothing but lack of tolerance for poor care and symbol of bad service. No explanations and apologies from the health service forced the patient to take negative action against the health service. Margaret Hodge who is the public accounts committee’s chairperson told that the latest facts have huge concerns.

She also said that the trend is very worrying. Apart from chasing lawyers and everything what worries more is the reflection of poor health care down quality of it and this is a major concern. According to the sources around 1 billion was spent last year on the settlement and around 1 fourth is spent on legal fees.

Chief Executive of the patient association, Katherine Murphy, said that the public has become far less tolerant about putting up with appalling failings in care, but so many people only engage in legal activities as every different way has failed. She also said many of the people who contacted them were asked to explain what goes wrong so the health care provider could make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Figures of 2011-2012 shows five law firms have received £35 million from legal actions against the NHS. Those included in it are Irwin Mitchell, paid £18.9 million from working on 522 cases, gaining a total of £43 million for clients, and Leigh Day & Co which made £5.5 million from 197 cases. Major cases were taken by the firm. Irwin Mitchell had won around 8 million for the family of brain victim. NHS was to reduce its bill by stop the same errors from happening and they accepted their earlier mistakes.

Worcestershire Acute NHS Hospital trust in December wrote to 38 families after awful failures. It included the case of a patient who starved to death and the others who died screaming in pain. The hospital gave £410,000 to the families and they were represented by Leigh Day & Co.

Ian Pryer, old mate at medical negligence Axiclaim told that in the past people who suffered those medical accidents kept tight-lipped about laying claim against NHS even though they suffered extreme negligence in few cases. NHS now roped in Dr Don Berwick to get advice on how to have zero harm culture in the hospital.

David Perecman, lawyer for construction accident at New York is discussing about negligence involved in grave parking garage collapse.

compensation payoutsThe construction accident lawyer at New York, David Perecman belonging to The Perecman Firm is discussing the reasons and results of collapse due to structure, after the death and serious injury of a work in an accident related to parking garage accident.

According to Washington Post, as a result of collapse of concrete made part of Maryland parking garage, a construction worker seriously got injured while other was dead.  This big concrete portion of parking deck fell down and harmed both the men working there.  David Perecman, the construction lawyer at New York understand that there are many risks involved in renovation of a part of a building.

Perecman said, “Any type of renovation and construction work can be potentially risky.  Further he added, “when a complete building or any part of it collapses, the lives of all the workers working in that building are immediately at stake because they are directly linked to the results of collapse.”  The site under consideration here is situated at Westfield Montgomery Mall in the area of suburban Mayland.  The Washington Post claimed that the said collapse happened between 2nd and 3rd floors of this garage.

According to the statistics provided by Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in the total number of structural collapses which were investigate between 1990 to 2008, 80% were only due to construction errors.  Rest 20% incidents occurred due to flaws in structural design.  These construction errors that lead to structural collapse can have many things to include in it like bad design, faulty construction, foundation failure, poor planning, defective materials for construction and excessive loads.

According to Perecman, most of the building collapses in New York are because of human negligence and a building collapse can be prevented. Every construction worker has got a basic right to be safe at work.  If a building collapses during construction and any injuries or death occur, based on different circumstances the building owner, a construction firm, architect, engineer or any other can be held responsible and liable for injuries to the workers.

The Perecman Firm of New York have really helped many injured work and their families in obtaining compensation related to different construction related accidents in New York, for almost 30 years now.  Since last 30 years, at The Perecman Firm, the lawyers have handled a number of cases pertaining to construction accident, auto accident, medical malpractice, civil rights violation and personal injury.  All types of building construction collapse cases like building, crane and scaffold collapses etc.  The founder of this firm, David Perecman is a recognized Honoree in the hall of fame of National Law Journal’s, for his achievements in his field.  According to the ranking of a prestigious US News & World Report, the Perecman Firm is said to be among top 20 firs dealing in personal injury in the city of New York for the years 2011-12 and also 2013-13.

How did Asons reacted on Million Pound Payout for Negligent Action during Birth Delivery at Salford Hospital

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A very famous hospital in the Manchester city led to a disastrous birth delivery. The Salford Royal hospital staff had to not only pay but also face legal action against them as their failure to deliver the baby on time led to brain damage of poor little girl. The news hit the media as soon after the case was filed. The parents of the new born baby waited for some time before bringing the case to court. It was filed after a few years. It was a palsy compensation claim that stated that the hospital was responsible for their daughter’s condition as the delay had led to brain injury for their new born daughter.

Salford Royal Hospital completed accepted their mistake and said they were willing to pay for all the damage the hospital staff has done. This included paying a lump sum amount and also paying to take care of the girl and that too for the rest of her life. It was a case of clear clinical negligence.  The doctors could have done their job in a better way. After trying to deliver the baby and failing at it, the doctors decided to go for a surgery. By then it was so late that a lot of brain damage happened to the poor baby girl. The good part is that the doctors have taken the blame and are willing to do anything they can to get the parents of the poor girl out of pain.

The baby girl was deprived of oxygen as the doctors struggled for the delivery. The oxygen loss affected the brain directly. Even though the poor girl is alive and is about seven years old.  The family’s executive stated that he expected the hospital to be more careful with the delivery and also was glad that the family decided a law suit against the hospital since such disease not only require a lot of care but a lot of money has to be spent on the child since he/she is medically not well.  Though no one can compensate for the emotional disaster that struck the family, paying them a decent amount and helping them to pay for the girl’s health for the rest of their lives is the only way the hospital can show sympathy towards them and make up for the mistake.

The justice even believes that hospital is doing its part by providing the girl compensation for what they had done. Also he thinks nobody can even imagine the trauma the family will go through for the rest of their lives just because of a simple mistake made by the doctors. Cerebral Palsy is very terrible disease. The cost of treating the patient is a lot. If the hospital is embarrassed at what they did and are willing to pay then this is the biggest favor they can do to the family. The cost of treating this patient will be huge as the patient grows older. Asons Solicitors help people get justice as they have very strong solicitors and can help a lot in giving advice whenever there is medical negligence involved.

NHS has paid 41 million pounds to compensate the patients for false teeth dropping

National Health Service is under huge burden of big compensation payouts. Every year the trust has to allocate a large budget for these expenses – misplaced dentures cause a cost of 301,000 pounds, while glasses and missing hearing aids cost NHS about 79000 pounds and 131000 pounds respectively. big compThere are a lot of other cases where National Health Service has to spend its money, such as in medical negligence cases. In last year alone, the National Health Service trust has offered 41 million pounds to compensate mistreated patients.

Hospital negligence is on top of the reasons that instigate thousands of payouts made by the trust. Due to negligent and careless hospital staff, patients had to lose their helping tools such as hearing support equipment, eye glasses, and dentures.

Mismanagement and poor quality care service provided at hospitals is another reason of this cost incurred to NHS. Let’s take an example of a patient who got seriously injured by slipping off a broken toilet seat – he was given an amount of 12000 pounds as compensation of which 10000 pounds were given to lawyers. In another incident, a patient lost his diamond ring in hospital, and the trust has to pay him 9500 pounds to make up his loss.

Most unfortunate is that, majority of these dreadful payouts and paid compensations made by National Health Service are hidden under the cover of special payments and losses in annual balance sheet. This pathetic reality came out after Freedom of Information Act appeal was made to almost 130 hospital trusts by Sunday Mirror.

National Health Service also has to pay more than 41 million pounds to cover the losses for unpaid patients’ bills, employment disputes and financial frauds. There was also a case reported at Walsall Healthcare where a person was paid 7673 pounds after he slipped from the ice at hospital car park.

About 12,000 pounds were paid off by East Kent Hospitals simply for overpaying two workers. Similarly Coventry and Warwickshire Hospitals and Heart of England Trust had to incur about 165,000 pounds for the loss of damaged and outdated medicines. Due to copper wire theft at Leeds Teaching Hospital, National Health Service lost 33,800 pounds.

Then there comes the big payouts made by the trust to compensate millions of medical negligence claims files each year. Most of such claims are against undue physical injuries caused by some medical negligence, while some claims are serious enough such as wrongful death or life long disability cases. Thanks to those victims who do not think about making legal claims against their inflicted damages; still National Health Service bears a huge compensation cost each year.

As said by Jonathan Isaby from TaxPayers’ Alliance, paying big bucks to compensate the losses caused by negligence, incompetence or poor management at health centers is really not acceptable for the trust – it shows how compensation is getting out of control.

Joyce Robins, from Patient Concern, said: “We are constantly getting complaints about losing dentures, spectacles and hearing tools in hospitals. “We are trying to solve these issues so that trust can save some of its money”, he added.