It’s oh-so fashionable to rail against people who file lawsuits except when you’re the one suing. Take House Speaker John Boehner, for instance. Boehner is planning “to sue President Obama over his use of executive action on immigration.… seen as an effort to appease conservatives. ‘House Republicans seem to be relying more and more on the courts these days to challenge the president's authority,’ White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Wednesday."
Just last Sunday, the Speaker appeared on 60 Minutes complaining about injured patients who sue and advocating federal laws to limit their rights.
How easy it is for people like Boehner to denigrate powerless patients, suffering from unsafe medical care which, in far too many cases, leads to death. But malpractice doesn’t discriminate. The rich, famous and powerful can also experience this and when that happens, it’s not so easy to belittle them.
Melissa Rivers, who clearly doesn’t need the money, is suing to obtain justice for her mother Joan, who died last year after what should have been a routine throat procedure at a New York endoscopy clinic. According to the complaint, “Joan Rivers' doctors were so busy taking cell phone pictures of their famous patient that they missed the moment her vital signs plummeted — and they ignored pleas from the anesthesiologist to halt the procedure.” Read more here.
"Filing this lawsuit was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make.… What ultimately guided me was my unwavering belief that no family should ever have to go through what my mother, Cooper and I have been through.
"The level of medical mismanagement, incompetency, disrespect and outrageous behavior is shocking and, frankly, almost incomprehensible …Not only did my mother deserve better, every patient deserves better. It is my goal to make sure that this kind of horrific medical treatment never happens to anyone again."
We've said it before but it bears repeating: The best way to stop medical malpractice lawsuits and claims is to stop medical errors and negligence. It’s clearly not to limit the rights of people like Melissa Rivers.