Sorry for the dearth of writings! I've been in California all week.

An interesting and ironic story in the New York Times today "Rules to Collect Care Costs Are Coming Under Attack."

In summary, in a number of instances where complications involved with indigent medical care resulted in large medical malpractice judgements against municipalities, the cities have subsequently turned around and presented bills for their care to be subtracted from the judgement. I LOVE IT!

The case discussed in the article involved a psychiatric patient who's estate sued a city after he gauged his own eyes out in a treatment center (because obviously it must be the cites fault according to trial lawyer logic).

“This is a matter of fiscal responsibility,” said George Valentine, the Washington district’s deputy attorney general for civil litigation, explaining that city taxpayers deserved to be protected from expenses that could be shouldered by patients. Payment from Ms. Motley would have been due only if a jury found in her favor and the city would not have collected more than what was awarded, Mr. Valentine said."

Trial lawyers have complained that such attempts to re-compensate cities for free care gives too much leverage to the city when they're trying to negotiate settlements from them (and removes much of a potential windfall from their share of the settlement). This is just one more example of just how crazy our med-mal system has become.



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