Tort reform leads to lawyer layoffs in Texas. “Silber Pearlman closed its Houston office Nov. 14, laying off five attorneys, and furloughed another three lawyers at the plaintiffs firm’s headquarters in Dallas.

Steven Baron, an equity partner in Dallas who manages the firm, says the cutbacks are directly linked to tort reform. The firm handles litigation filed by plaintiffs suffering from diseases caused by asbestos and silica, and there’s simply less work in that area, Baron says.” (via PointofLaw.com)

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  • Anonymous

    Everyone knows tort reform has nothing to do with these Law Firms being forced to lay off employees. It occurred because they made bad Wall Street investments, just like the insurance companies.

  • Anonymous

    No, I think that insurance rates are coming down, doctors and insurers are coming back to the state, ambulance chasers are getting laid off, etc. because of aberrent weather patterns in Uganda. I mean, we all know that Prop 12 can’t have anything to with it, right?

  • Anonymous

    Seeing lawyers put out of work just gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over. :)

  • Anonymous

    You guys win!! Yeah!! You get $10 more in your pockets and victims get screwed!!! Whooppee!!

    But don’t worry, when it’s your ass in a sling, those insurers will be glad to help you out. You won’t need a lawyer.

    Oh yeah, we forgot – the insurers get to take that $10 back anytime they want and take another $50 out as well. When do you think that will happen? Oh yeah, just like last time, when the economy tanks again!

    You guys aren’t a very sharp group.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, so now it’s the economy? What about the weather in Uganda or the stock market? I do so love to see CJD come unglued like this, it makes me get the warm and fuzzies. :)

  • Anonymous

    “You get $10 more in your pockets and victims get screwed!!! Whooppee!!”

    Really? Seems to me the victims, as you call them, still get their full ECONOMIC damages. Only the “blood money” in the form of non-economic damages is capped.

    “Oh yeah, we forgot – the insurers get to take that $10 back anytime they want and take another $50 out as well.”

    Get your insurers straight. Malpractice insurance companies don’t reimburse, so they don’t “take back”. Health insurers, on the other hand, try that all the time.

    “You guys aren’t a very sharp group.”

    Seems to me, we’re a hell of alot sharper than you.

  • Anonymous

    “Only the “blood money” in the form of non-economic damages is capped.”

    Yeah, because the compensation for, say, a lifetime of pain that a child faces is “blood money”. Or that stay at home mom, or that elderly person. You know, people who won’t have ECONOMIC damages. Think about it, genius.

    ” Malpractice insurance companies don’t reimburse, so they don’t “take back”.”

    Actually, when California enacted insurance reform, after tort reform failed to lower rates, the California insurers REIMBURSED over $2 million in unearned premiums. Damn facts bite you again.

    “Seems to me, we’re a hell of alot sharper than you.”

    Got to love the irony!

    CJD

  • Anonymous

    “Only the “blood money” in the form of non-economic damages is capped.”

    That sounds like saying in 1918 the Red Sox only traded Babe Ruth to cut costs the rest of the outstanding team was still there.

  • Anonymous

    “Actually, when California enacted insurance reform, after tort reform failed to lower rates, the California insurers REIMBURSED over $2 million in unearned premiums. Damn facts bite you again.”

    Really? Playing with words means the facts bite me? Reimbursement is payment for sevices, NOT returning money already paid towards a premium.

    “Actually, when California enacted insurance reform, after tort reform failed to lower rates”

    The old attorney myth – been proven wrong time and time again.

    “the compensation for, say, a lifetime of pain that a child faces is “blood money”. Or that stay at home mom, or that elderly person. You know, people who won’t have ECONOMIC damages. Think about it, genius.”

    And just what is the punitive damage worth, CJD? A million? 100 million? Does a billion buy the patient or the family happiness (but I’ll bet 40% of a billion buys the attorney just that)? How do YOU or a jury or anyone for that matter, put a price on “pain and suffering”? Would you and your trial attorney friends continue to push for unlimited damages if your fees were capped? Seems you’re the self declared genius around here. Seems you always want the facts. Seems you always can play on the drama of the moment. How about a formula, genius?

  • Anonymous

    “Seems you’re the self declared genius around here.”

    Can you imagine if we could say this crap in court when we have to sit there for 2 weeks and listen to the sodomite morons tell the jury what morons we are? Nirvana. Does anyone else just Love the scene in “Natural Born Killers” where Woody Harrelson is in court and he grabs a pencil and starts stabbing all the sodomites in the EYE? Orgasmic! I’m so tired of being screwed by these guys!

  • Anonymous

    “Really? Playing with words means the facts bite me? Reimbursement is payment for sevices, NOT returning money already paid towards a premium.”

    Not according to most dictionaries.

    “The old attorney myth – been proven wrong time and time again.”

    I realize that you’re a physician, so there’s a chance that you don’t know this, but you simply saying something doesn’t make it true. I would encourage you to study insurance rates in CA after MICRA was enacted. Then after Prop 13 was enacted. I know facts aren’t your thing, but you might be surprised.

    “And just what is the punitive damage worth, CJD?”

    We’re not talking about punitive damages, genius. Mostly because they are so rarely a factor in physician malpractice cases. In the state I live in, I don’t think there has ever been a punitive verdict involving a physician. The only time I’ve ever heard of one was where the physician was drunk or something like that.

    “How do YOU or a jury or anyone for that matter, put a price on “pain and suffering”?”

    It’s a hard thing, no doubt. But as a society we’re not willing to say that the loss of your quality of life has NO value. And money is the only compensation we can convey, although everyone acknowledges it’s inadequate. But I have to ask, isn’t that why you buy insurance? To pay for your mistakes?

    ” How about a formula, genius?”

    There is no formula, because each case is unique. The 21 year old football star who is about to embark on a career in the NFL most likely will suffer a greater loss of quality of life than the 70 year old shut in with rheumatoid arthritis. We’re all individuals. Have you forgotten that?

    CJD

  • Anonymous

    “I realize that you’re a physician, so there’s a chance that you don’t know this, but you simply saying something doesn’t make it true.”

    Ditto for attorney comments on MICRA.

    “We’re not talking about punitive damages”

    You’re right – I used the wrong phrase. But what I said about non-economic damages still applies.

    “There is no formula, because each case is unique. The 21 year old football star who is about to embark on a career in the NFL most likely will suffer a greater loss of quality of life than the 70 year old shut in with rheumatoid arthritis. We’re all individuals. Have you forgotten that?”

    Of course I haven’t forgotten that, genius. Your comment above demands that there be a formula. Otherwise, how do you explain wildly different awards (non-economic) for similar cases? And, by the way, genius, if a 75 million dollar award is upheld and the insurance only covers up to 3 million (NJ), the defendant is potentially responsible for the balance, NOT the insurance company.

  • Anonymous

    At least as ER docs I know we aren’t going to get laid off. Just sued by these morons. I saw 50 patients last night in 8 hours. If I was a Burger King I’d be opening more restaurants. This system is bursting at the seams. The last thing I need at this volume of patients is to have to worry about getting sued.

  • Anonymous

    “Ditto for attorney comments on MICRA.”

    The difference is, the facts bear my position out. Do the research yourself if you don’t believe me. Or do you simply swallow everything the AMA tells you wholeheartedly?

    “You’re right – I used the wrong phrase. But what I said about non-economic damages still applies.”

    Actually, it doesn’t. Because economic damages are a set number unrelated to the net worth of the defendant. And punitives still have almost no application to negligence suits involving individual physicians.

    “Otherwise, how do you explain wildly different awards (non-economic) for similar cases? “

    You’ll have to give me an example of what you’re talking about. Each case is pretty unique. I don’t know what you do in your spare time, but I imagine few do it just like you. Few have the same relationship with their family you do, few people spend their time exactly as you do. So telling me about “similar cases” without telling me what was similar means little. That’s not to say that there won’t occasionally be disparity. But the occasional disparity doesn’t make the case for disregarding/eliminating the value of quality of life altogether.

    “And, by the way, genius, if a 75 million dollar award is upheld and the insurance only covers up to 3 million (NJ), the defendant is potentially responsible for the balance, NOT the insurance company.”

    What case are you talking about that involved a $75 million award solely against an individual physician? And how much was actually paid?

    Facts man, facts.

    CJD

  • Anonymous

    What case are you talking about that involved a $75 million award solely against an individual physician? And how much was actually paid?

    Facts man, facts.

    Fact: I spent every weekend in my 20′s in the library, 16-20 hours a day, studying. I never went out.

    Just the fact that you guys are theoretically able to anally rape us doctors out of our savings after all these years of training is fact enough to make me hate you lawyers more than any child molestor. I would die rather then give up the few dollars I’ve saved over the years to a plaintiff’s attorney.

  • Anonymous

    So in other words you have no facts to support that claim. Spare me your sob story. People spend every day of their lives working long days at demanding jobs for less than a quarter of your compensation. Have your pity party elsewhere.

    And yes, I know you’d rather die than give any of it to the victim of your mistakes, but thank goodness there’s a legal system that doesn’t let you duck your responsibilities just because you think you worked hard.

    Buy insurance to pay for your mistakes like the rest of us and do some intelligent asset protection and you won’t have to worry, crybaby.

    CJD

  • Anonymous

    “thank goodness there’s a legal system that doesn’t let you duck your responsibilities just because you think you worked hard.”

    Hmm – harsh, yet the usual moronic words from CJD. I really think he was saying “thank goodness there’s still a legal system that lets us lawyers sodomize those stupid crybaby pathetic doctors who don’t know anything except how to work hard – and like Mr. Lanier, I’m salivating over those large awards that I collect over 40% on.”

    Stuff your pathetic drivel, CJD. And by the way, give us “Facts man, facts”, not the pathetic ATLA nonsense that you spout at every opportunity.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think I’ve ever quoted ATLA. But even when I quote the insurers themselves you don’t believe it. Your knowledge of this issue is truly all a faith based belief.

  • Anonymous

    “Your knowledge of this issue is truly all a faith based belief.”

    Not ours but yours, CJD.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I guess what all those statistics, the historic record, the statements of the insurers themselves, are all made up. Even the Wall Street Journal article on St. Paul. And the Medical Economics articles. Completely in my head.

    Another excellent diagnosis, doc!

  • Anonymous

    The Trial Lawyers Inc report, the debunking of such reports as the Weiss Report, the experience of premium reductions in states such as Texas, the MICRA experience in California – we must be imagining all those things, CJD. And what historical record do you speak of? Facts, man, facts!! Statements of the insurers? Which ones? Proof, man, proof. Seems we have a better diagnosis than you, genius.

  • The G Manifesto

    wow…heated debate.

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