Wednesday, September 16, 2009


(Sorry for the late post. On Friday last I got the title to my truck. This morning I had to go to Pep Boys to have a new oxygen sensor put in. Yep, I'm done with the payments to GMAC, just in time to start making payments to the mechanic)

Yesterday in one of those things which happens to 14 year old boys playing football, this child suffered a second degree fracture. No one is to blame for what happened - just life. But here is the problem. The father learned of what happened after the child’s regular doctor had gone home for the day. He took the child to one of these 24 hour clinics. The doctor did an x-ray. The doctor claimed the x-ray was normal and wrapped the ankle as a sprain. Then the staff gave the child the wrong size crutches.

This morning the child woke up in a lot of pain. The father took the child to his regular doctor. He did another x-ray. The doctor showed the father the second degree fracture and proceeded to put a cast on the foot.

This would appear to be a simple case of malpractice. The incompetent doctor will bill medicaid for the x-ray and his services, although he committed malpractice. The parent, child and medicaid all have no remedy against the doctor. The child has no real damages, other that a delay in getting a cast, and a little pain. The doctor will get away with his incompetence. Think about this, if this doctor cannot read a simple x-ray for a second degree fracture, what other mistakes is he making?

Texas medical malpractice reform makes it impossible for the father to seek an remedy against the doctor, even for nuisance damages. The doctor will not be held accountable. The doctor will be allowed to commit malpractice with impunity, while billing the taxpayers.

The taxpayers will pay his bill and for the second x-ray. One thing President Obama has been seeking in his reform is the putting of medical records on computers. The other day I had a caudal racz procedure on my spine. I got about 50% relief. Tomorrow I can fly off to DC and collapse from the pain. I would be taken to the VA. The doctor in DC would get on the computer and be able to see the entire caudal racz procedure and MRI done in San Antonio. This is a good thing. To the Republicans it is a communist conspiracy to suspend the constitution.

If President Obama were to win on this issue, this child’s original x-ray would have been immediately uploaded to a computer data base. His regular doctor this morning simply would have brought up the x-ray instead performing and billing for a second x-ray. This basic ineffective process of duplicate x-rays and testing occurs everyday in the medicaid and medicare system. Why are the Republicans truly opposed to the cost savings reforms? They want to derail President Obama and they know they can do it by scaring seniors with lies.


Anonymous said...

you say that the parent or patient have no recourse against the misdiagnosing doctor...what about making a claim of neglegence to the board that licenses doctors? say that the law was different and they did have recourse...would it be just for them to sue the doctor and walk away with a $50,000,000 judgement because some sympathetic starr county jury was swayed by some shister attorney? that is what we had before. and it was not right. it just makes all our insurance bills skyrocket. why not limit punative damages to only be awarded to a charitable organization or a hospital? what good does the huge award do for the family. medical bills should be paid, but huge punative damages should go to, say a burn center, in a case where someone was burned. the reason our medical costs are so high is that the insurance for the doctors, the hospitals, the drugmakers, and the medical equipment manufacturers is so high. that ends up getting paid by us. i don't know why obama or anyone else has mentioned that. if the costs were reasonable, then the insurance rates would be reasonable and we wouldn't be talking about this junk. look at the cmi hospital in matamoros. how is it that they can offer their state of the art open mri for 1/5th of the cost of the mri here in brownsville. the answer is that they aren't open to litigation like the doctors on this side.

BobbyWC said...

As I said in the piece, his damages are incredibly small so there would be no real award. The problem is the cost of hiring an expert to detail the malpractice, in a case llike this, far exceeds the damages.

Texas has some of the strongest reform in the country. Malpractice rates went up after the reform.

Look in texas you cannot sue with the affidavit on expert to detail the malpractice.

As to punitives - what do you think a jury will do if they know it will go to local hospitals?

Further punitive damages have been restricted big time in Texas.

Years ago I did a mediation in Dallas as the mediator. The man bought into the lies the juries award big judgments - I showed him the blue sheets (jury summaries of awards) he did not believe them. I pushd had for him to take $250,000.00 for a wrongly amputated foot. "No no no, the radio adds claim juries award millions for malpractice." he bought the lies.

The jury gave him %65,000.00 When the jury was polled they said they felf for the doctor when he was crying on the stand admitting to his mistake.

My view is for certain type claims an expert medical affidavit should not be necessary. What was the point is making the plaintiff hire an expert in a case where his foot was wrongly amputated?

When you have a case of failure to diagnose why is the medical records of the doctor who did diagnose not sufficient?

I won a case on mandamus wherein this nutjob judge in Denton ruled that when you sue a hospital for wrongful collections efforts, you must have an affidavit from a doctor stating that the collection actions were a violation of medical standards.

The Fort Worth Court of Appeals denied the mandamus, but stated in teh order that the judges ruling was certain to be reversed because is was not based in any known law.

The case settled for the $50,000.00the hopsital claimed she owed the hospital for treatment of her husband. One problem - her husband was declared dead at the scene of the accident.

So they cleared the bill and paid an additional $50,000.00. They would actually call her every night and accuse her of not allowing her dead husband to take the phone.

You need to stop believing everything you hear on the radio in ads paid for by the insurance companies.

Until you have been to all of the counties and reviewed the blue sheets you have no knowledge of what the judgments truly are.

I would say in most cases the insurance defense lawyers make more than the plaintiff's lawyer. remember the longer they drag it out the more they get paid on an hourly basis.

My friends would get mad at me because I would take a fee of 15% prelitigation. Whlie I did very few car accident cases (had to black and white) I knew juries would give only a % of the medical bills. If I could get 1 1/2 times medical bills I would cut my fee to 15%, negotiate with the doctors and end it. Trustr me spending 40-80 hours litigating the case meant after the jury got done with us I would make $10.00 an hour. Whereas at 15% prelitigation I could make $300 to $500 an hour, and the insurance defense lawyers made zero.

Bobby Wc