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The so-called medical malpractice crisis: an interview with the president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America

Ken Suggs, president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America defends lawyers who are unfairly being attacked as drivers of rising healthcare costs. Even though the Senate recently rejected a bill to cap damages in Medical Malpractice cases, Suggs insists politicians are using tort reform as a way to raise money for their presidential platforms.

Instead of lawyers driving up healthcare costs, Suggs suggests, insurance companies are profiting from increased medical malpractice premiums. In addition, the parties most often neglected in the debate are those who are permanently and severely injured due to a physician’s negligence. For some of these individuals and families, no amount of money will ever be enough to compensate them for their loss.

Suggs cites the following statistics to demonstrate that the so-called medical malpractice crisis is being unfairly spun to reflect poorly on attorneys:

• Medical malpractice payouts have remained flat for more than 10 years, and over the last four years have been dropping.
• Between 2001 and 2004, the number of payouts on behalf of doctors fell about 14 percent.

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