Medical Malpractice Payments Fall Many special interests want to close the courthouse doors to Georgia citizens who suffer terrible injuries or death because of the negligence of healthcare personnel. The special interests complain about "frivolous lawsuits" and the alleged "crisis" of medical malpractice lawsuits. When you peek behind the surface, however, the truth is that we are suffering from a problem with people being killed or injured by medical errors rather than a problem with lawsuits. For example, as this article by Chelsey Ledue shows, the number of payments related to malpractice claims fell in 2009, and the amount paid is at its lowest level since 1992.
The Real Problem: Failure to Protect Patients In 1999, the Institute of Medicine found that 44,000-98,000 people die every year due to preventable medical errors! In 2004, the problem was worse, and according to the report by Health Grades, medical errors would be ranked as the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. And in 2009, it is estimated by the Hearst Newspapers that approximately 200,000 people would die due to medical errors and hospital infections! These are frightening statistics that don’t get the attention they deserve.
Please take a moment to review the report by Public Citizen that shows the real problem is too many Americans die needlessly from medical errors. Thus, we should focus on keeping patients safe and holding hospitals and medical personnel accountable when they needlessly harm patients. The right to trial by jury is essential to hold wrongdoers accountable. We should not allow special interests groups to take away this right.