Previously, we discussed Bill 1215 which was passed by the House. Among the many awful provisions contained in the Bill was a cap on damages of $250,00.00 for pain and suffering. This cap is designed to assist the wrongdoing doctors, nurses and hospitals. If a negligence victim sprained his/her ankle, then they will never receive a pain and suffering award exceeding the cap amount. Therefore, the cap is designed to short change the most catastrophically injured people.
In my first discussion of this issue, I spoke of a 24 year old female patient with back pain who was paralyzed from the waist down due to the negligence of a surgeon. The injury was totally preventable if the surgeon acted reasonably. Under the law, she can recover past, present and future medical expenses and lost wages. Under this bill, a $2,000,000.00 jury award for pain and suffering would be reduced to $250,000.00.
What is pain and suffering? We all have experienced pain of one sort or the other. In this case, it is important to remember that just because she is paralyzed from the waist down doesn’t mean that her lower body is pain free. It just means that she lacks movement in her lower body.
Suffering is the distress and misery that the injury has inflicted on the victim. This type of injury negatively impacts a person’s life in a huge way. Congresswoman Martha McSally, one of the few House Republicans to vote against this Bill, describes the type of injuries that it effects as being, “dream crushing.” With that in mind, here are a few examples of the types of suffering that 24 year old paralytic might endure:
1. can’t stand up and move without using assistive devices (crutches, wheelchair, etc.);
2. can’t walk up and down stairs;
3.can’t move her legs;
4. can’t jump;
6. can’t jog or run;
7. can’t roller or ice skate;
8.can’t walk a dog;
9. if she weds, she won’t be able to walk down the aisle without help;
10.can’t easily use public transportation;
11. can’t use her legs to propel her while swimming;
12. must sit in designated areas when attending sports or concerts.
These are just a few examples. Just imagine if you or someone you cared about were injured this badly, would you really think it is fair to cap pain and suffering damages at $250,000.00?
Probably not. Please call and email your Senators and tell them to vote against this bill.
Posted on Tue, July 18, 2017
by Thomas Tobin III