Personal Injury Links: Post Holiday Blues Edition

One of my post Labor Day resolutions is to blog more often to continue to grow the Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog readership. But I’m still trying to get trying to get back into the flow of things today, so instead of a substance post, I’ll just leech off the work of others:

  • Missouri medical malpractice claims reach an all-time low. One thing is impossible to dispute: medical malpractice caps mean few malpractice lawsuits. The question is whether this is a good thing or bad thing for patient health and safety. You know where I come down on this.
  • Walter Olsen points out that malpractice insurance is a lot cheaper for doctors in Canada. I agree that a $300,000 malpractice cap decreases claims. I disagree with his opinion that bench trials are necessarily better for doctors than jury trials, and I think there is data that agrees with me.
  • The Kugel mesh hernia cases are starting to settle. In my opinion, Davol came up with a new product innovation with this flexible plastic ring. But they jumped the gun because they wanted to get the Kugel mesh implant on the market. These are generally not huge cases and Davol is doing the right thing by moving forward to secure a settlement with plaintiffs.
  • Medical malpractice lawyer advertisements have gone up 1,400 percent in the last four years. The data comes from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, which has, to put it kindly, credibility problems with me. But let’s say it is three times less than they suggest. That would still be an incredible increase. Certainly, Maryland malpractice lawyers are advertising on television in far more significant numbers than malpractice lawyers have in the past. I really don’t see commercials because of my DVR, but I’m told that the Cochran Firm and Peter Angelos have really jumped into the malpractice lawyer advertising world with seven figure investments. The amazing thing is that the numbers of malpractice claims in Maryland are not going up but, after all of these years, lawyers are still finding it efficacious to go so much deeper into the well of television advertising.
  • Steven Shavell (Harvard) & Mitchell Polinsky (Stanford) have written an article called “The Uneasy Case for Products Liability” in which they argue that the product liability tort system is flawed. I read the abstract on the TortsProf Blog. Of course the product liability tort liability system is deeply flawed. In fact, it is awful. The problem is every other system is worse. But the authors really lose me when they argue that compensation to victims “is only partial, for accident victims are already often compensated by their insurers for some or all of their losses.” This logic would apply to every accident case, malpractice or product liability claim where the victim has insurance. So if you have insurance, you should not be compensated for your injuries. I suppose if you don’t have insurance, you should have had insurance so you get nothing, too.
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