While Washington gripes about the rising cost of healthcare, they are neglecting to address one critical cause of skyrocketing prices: frivolous lawsuits.
The halls of Congress are chock full of lawyers. Do you think they'll ever address the issue of their buddies filing frivolous lawsuits? I'd expect Obama to return to Reaganomics first.
An underclass of people has developed in this country. Their mission? To get as much money as possible for blaming someone else. Personal responsibility has fallen by the wayside, and honest people are left picking up the tab (again).
If a doctor advises a course of treatment that you choose not to follow, how is it the fault of the doctor? While grossly negligent malpractice (amputating the wrong limb, etc.) deserves its day in court, there is none for the people who sue their doctor because they have a scar after surgery. How is a doctor to win in a case like that? Let them possibly die or face litigation over a scar; that's their double-edged sword.
Here are a few examples of frivolous medical lawsuits that have made the Stella Awards Case Log. The award was named after Stella Liebeck, the New Mexico woman who spilled hot coffee in her lap and successfully sued McDonald's for an undisclosed amount. These will make you sick. Thank Heaven you don't have to wait for treatment.
- Obese, cigarette-smoking woman with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a family history of coronary artery disease suffers the expected heath problems associated with those risk factors. Why? Because her doctors didn't force her to change her habits! She sues for $1 million.
- Women sue doctors and hospital for "Needless Infliction of Emotional Distress" because they witnessed doctors rushing to aid their very ill mother. Had their case succeeded (it went all the way up to the California Supreme Court!), doctors and hospitals would have been forced to keep family members away anytime they are doing any sort of medical procedures which, let's face it, are often ugly to watch. They put your right to be there for your family members at risk.
- Schoolboy running for bus runs into a teacher. She sues the 11-year-old, claiming he "negligently and carelessly" ran into her at an "excessive rate of speed," which caused "severe and multiple injuries".
- Dying man eats a McDonald's burrito but can't take the spices in it. Wife, upset that she didn't get a refund or a free Happy Meal when she complained, decides to sue.
- Woman claims a bad hair treatment at a salon was enough to cause her emotional distress, depression and to "shut down" so much that she was caused to retire early from her university teaching job and a side job -- and the jury buys it!
- 375-pound woman steps on 53-year-old grave, which collapses under her weight. "I thought I was in a Stephen King movie," she says, which is apparently sufficient grounds for a lawsuit.
- Man uses restroom stall in city building that doesn't have a door knob. When he sticks his hand through the hole, he gets hurt -- and, of course, sues. He wins almost $3 million. His occupation? City claims examiner.
- Woman gets locked in a storage unit and didn't ever call out for help. She ended up being locked in the dark for 63 days. When she sued the storage company for $10 million, the jury wasn't allowed to hear why she didn't call out for help: she's mentally ill. They found in her favor, but were still so suspicious of her story they "only" awarded her $100,000.
- Attorney cleaning his pool decides to knock palm frond from overhead electrical wires. When he's quite naturally electrocuted, his wife knows who's to blame: the electric company and the company who sold him the pool skimmer, of course!