On July 26, 2017, tragedy struck at the Ohio State Fairgrounds when a gondola broke off the "Fire Ball" thrill ride and crashed to the ground. Seven were injured and one was killed as people around the country were left wondering how in the world this could happen. Now, over a month later, we are left with another unanswered question: will the victims of this tragedy get the justice they deserve?
"The high costs of healthcare and malpractice premiums are a result of frivolous lawsuits filed against us." This is a common refrain from the Ohio State Medical Association and Ohio Hospital Association, but this notion is essentially nonsense. Over the last 25 years, claims paid out from medical malpractice lawsuits have declined by over half. This is a direct result of the "tort reform" effort that has rendered it extremely difficult to justify bringing a medical claim against a doctor, especially if the injured patient has not suffered a permanent, disabling, and/or catastrophic injury. Despite consistently limiting a patient's access to justice in the courts his or her injuries, the health insurance industry continues to point the finger at lawsuits as being the problem.
Earlier this week, Gerry Leeseberg testified in front of the Ohio House of Representatives Judiciary Committee against House Bill 559. H.B. 559 is proposed legislation designed to provide even more protections to negligent doctors and hospitals. Specifically, Gerry addressed two provisions of the bill - expanding the apology statute and reducing "shotgun" lawsuits.