Senate File 465 is a bill currently before the Iowa Legislature. It will affect medical malpractice lawsuits. It won’t do anything to require physicians to practice better medicine, it will only penalize patients who are injured or die as a result of medical malpractice. The object is to make it impossible for you to find a lawyer who will take your case and if you do, to limit any compensation.
Absolutely wrong, mean spirited, greedy, irresponsible, does nothing to improve patient safety and fiscally irresponsible. It's what you get when farmers start to think they know how to practice law. Steve Lombardi
Here is what happens if this passes.
Doctors, bad doctors will be encouraged to practice in Iowa, because they realize what I’m about to tell you.
Your doctor performs some procedure, maybe surgery, and you need an anesthetic. Unfortunately things don’t go as planned and they lose the airway, causing you brain damage. Your spouse and children, you will never know because you will never leave the nursing home, won’t speak again and now you aren't even able to make a peanut button and jelly sandwich. Your family is bankrupted with the $10,000.00 per month nursing home bill and the biggest challenge they face is how long your will actually live in this vegetative state. Doctors and the nursing home want you to live a long and lousy life, because your body has now turned into a cash register for the medical system.
Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Every month the cash register rings for them.
Every month your family goes further and further in debt. They no longer think in terms of vacations or college. They focus is on how bad they feel not wanting to visit you anymore.
And so your spouse finally makes an appointment to see a medical malpractice lawyer. You think it should be easy to find one of those malpractice lawyers. After all they line up to take these cases. Don't they?
And on the day of your appointment you show up fifteen minutes early. Once into his office you explain all about the shoddy medical care and then you go for the sympathy card – the vegetative state! And you expect that lawyer to be outraged, overwhelmed with both emotion and excitement. But he's not. In fact he seems disinterested in your case. Why?
Unfortunately for you Senate File 465 passed! Yippee! Yippee shouted the bad doctors and the insurance company CEO’s who were in line for a big-big payday! Yippee! We hit the jackpot!
That medical malpractice lawyer says he is no longer interested in this area of personal injury law because of Senate File 465 and what it did. You’re stunned, and confused because everyone told you lawyers are greedy and will sue anybody for anything, any time. And this is where your lesson in this area of the law begins.
You see, lawyers have to pay bills just like you do. They get an electric bill just like you do and have to pay taxes along with also having to pay their employees. And so when an area of the law is no longer profitable they move on to practicing in another area.
The lawyer doesn’t stop there because he wanted you to know what else Senate File 465 did. He's telling you, this attempt to find a lawyer is actually a waste of your time. Because Senate File 465, limited how much you can receive in compensation, increased how much it would cost for experts, limited the pool of experts to choose from and how much he could get paid in order to take on the risks involved with this high-risk area of personal injury litigation. The pay cap was the frosting on the malpractice tort-reform cake full of greed and deception. And so now, his spending $50,000 on experts to maybe get paid $50,000 didn’t make sense to him. And so he moved on.
But wait, you can’t believe this is happening to you. "What? You don't want my case? Are you kidding me?"
Answer: No. And, nope.
Stunned doesn't exactly describe how you feel. Sick is a more accurate way to describe this feeling of hopelessness.
But it is and if you don’t call your legislator they intend to encourage all the bad doctors to come to Iowa because you can’t do anything to them when either they kill or maim you or your family, then this is where we are heading in Iowa.
On the other hand, if this sounds good to you, do nothing.
Floor Manager in the Senate is Schneider and Hinson in the House.
Next up, tomorrow I will tell you why you don’t even have a choice as to who maims or kills you. Stay tuned. Because the explanation you get from the Iowa Legislature is fake news.