Monday, July 28, 2003

Need a Second Opinion?
State Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Cincinnati, has introduced a bill to allow either party in a medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain the opinion from a screening panel before going to court. This panel would be allowed to review the case and make a non-binding judgment on the validity of the claim. This judgment would be then be admissible in court.

Is this a good idea? The concept is valid to explore, but likely operation would only benefit the defense. The make-up of the panel would be subject to abuse. Would they be an elected group? Would they be political appointees? Since their judgment would be admissible in court, it could become a de facto judgment that jurors could rely upon as nearly infallible, hurting both sides' ability to try the case.

What is lack in this law, at least in the press account, is the ability of the judge to rule on the admissibility of the panel's judgment. The validity of the judgment would have to be an element of the discovery process before the actual trial. Under current law that would be allowable, but would this new panel change that? Tort reform is a big issue, but up to know we only get the rhetoric, not the details. This bill will not bring down health care costs. All bill will do, and its purpose, is to help doctors and medical malpractice insurance companies.

This story came from the Dayton Daily News. Since the elected official sponsoring the bill is from Cincinnati, why is this story not in the Cincinnati Press? It might be on some of the broadcast outlets, but so far not anywhere on the Internet.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be an idiot or your post will be deleted.