LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The right to bring malpractice cases

Jul 22, 2012

Since the 1990s, Michigan is the only state that effectively bars citizens from bringing lawsuits against drug companies, even when drugs are proven to be dangerous and defective. This has caused Michigan and it’s citizens to lose millions of dollars in compensation for wrongful death and injuries.

Now, the state Legislature is considering a package of bills (SB 1110, 1115, 1116, 1117 and 1118; and HB 5669, 5670, 5671 and 5672) which will effectively bar any citizen from bringing a medical malpractice case against Michigan hospitals, health care corporations, physicians groups and all health care providers. The Legislature is even coming back in the middle of the summer to hold special hearings on these bills.

This effort to take away the Seventh Amendment right to seek justice is despite the following facts:

— Patient safety depends on holding every hospital and provider accountable for their actions. Do we really want to go to a hospital where there is no responsibility for negligent or careless medical care?

— Since the 1993 Tort Reform Legislation, the number of medical malpractice cases in Michigan is down 80 percent; and the amounts paid to claimants has dramatically decreased, most recently down 60 percent.

— Michigan is one of the two or three toughest states in the entire country for a patient to bring a medical malpractice case in. Doctors are not fleeing Michigan because of medical malpractice suits; Michigan is the best place to be.

— Without medical malpractice cases, the state will lose funding as current liens collectable from malpractice cases under Medicaid will not be available, and the state will have to assume costs for those victims of negligence needing care.

— Dr. B. Elliot Grysen, Spring Lake
 

Comments

Tri-cities realist

Hmm, if "Since the 1993 Tort Reform Legislation, the number of medical malpractice cases in Michigan is down 80 percent; and the amounts paid to claimants has dramatically decreased, most recently down 60 percent", could it be that the law was effective in reducing the amount of frivolous lawsuits? I'll have to check into the pending legislation, seems odd that I haven't heard about this. GH tribune, can you please look into this for your readers?

Vladtheimp

I don't know about the Michigan tort reform law, but when I did a search for "Dr. B. Elliot Grysen, Spring Lake" I found "Grysen and Associates" the home page of which advertises "B. Elliot Grysen, MD, JD Medical Malpractice Attorney." Interesting that he seems to have ignored both his Juris Doctor degree from Cooley Law School and the fact that he has a medical malpractice law firm in his oh so caring Letter to the Editor concerned about his fellow Michiganders. . . . Lawyer Grysen sent virtually the same letter to the Lansing Journal, but that letter included the final paragraph "For additional information, please contact B. Elliot Grysen, M.D., J.D., at (877) 247-9736. Dr. Grysen has evaluated over 30,000 medical malpractice cases in all 50 states over the past 30 years and will be available all day on July 18 for phone or Skype interviews."

Tri-cities realist

Vlad, I'm sure it was an oversight on his part, I mean he only has 2 Doctorate degrees, like he really pays attention to small details such as a couple of letters after his name. He wouldn't intentionally omit that in his letter to the Trib, which tends to be a more conservative demographic, but then remember to include it in his letter to the Lansing Journal, an area which tends to lean more liberal. I must be a crazy conspiracy theorist or something. Thanks for vetting the doc, I mean lawyer. I like the way you think, and your thoroughness. Remember... Trust but verify (although it's getting harder to even trust these days). I can't imagine from where the notion came, that lawyers are slimy. Keep up the good work, we need more people like you.

Tri-cities realist

V

MamaBear

Regardless of the professional background of who authored this notice, I would certainly encourage you to take as much time researching this legislation and how it could impact you. We've been traveling to Lansing to attend these hearings and I can assure you it would be the legislatures preference to get these through quickly and without a lot of public attention. We already have our case filed, yet we attend these hearings to protect the rights of other families that may have the same experience as us. We are healthy and well educated and trusted a hospital to do its job. And they failed. And our daughters life is permanently changed because of it. At nearly four years of age she cannot walk, sit or talk. The only comfort we have as a family is knowing that at least we can protect her and keep her safe by seeking financial compensation for her life care costs. Taking that right away from families that suffered medical malpractice makes them victims not once of the hospital, but twice by a legislature that would rather protect a hospitals bottom line then that of my daughters. And that is not right.

Jenn61

The "RIGHT TO BRING"...these words alone should be enough. I don't want my rights taken away by a doctor or a lawyer and especially not by a legislator backed by lobbyists. There is a lot more to this than most people know unless you research it. Michigan is 47th (lowest) in all of the states for medical malpractice claims as I understand it. Doctors should be held to the same level of professional competence as a lawyer, accountant or any other licensed professional, if not higher as they have your life or the lives of your loved ones in their hands. Yet doctors want the wording in these Bills to hold them to a lessor standard. It is easy to say what you want to the law to be or not to be until you are faced with the disregard of their actions in your own life. A situation I hope you are never faced with. Michigan already has many stiff laws limiting your rights against doctors and capping the amounts you are allowed to be awarded. Everyone needs consequences. Contrary to what you hear on t.v., it is nearly impossible to sue a medical professional in this state. Many of your rights to sue a doctor have already been taken away under the guise of "tort reform", a word the average person doesn't even understand. This includes your right to sue a drug manufacturer after you ingest a drug that is FDA approved. For me, it's my right as an American citizen to bring a lawsuit, and for a jury of my peers to determine the outcome.

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