Senators Chance, Seabaugh support right of patients to sue

Tue, 03/20/2007 - 4:03pm
By: Letters to the ...

I live in Sandy Springs and I wish my local elected officials were more like state senators Ronnie Chance and Mitch Seabaugh. Those two are standing up for the right of emergency room patients and they should be applauded.

In [The Citizen March 14], Dr. Robert J. Cox criticized Chance and Seabaugh for supporting Senate Bill 286, which would change an unfair law that allows ER doctors to get away with deadly mistakes and misconduct.

Georgia ERs have become “accountability-free zones, thanks to a 2004 law that aims to cut down on what insurance companies deemed “frivolous” lawsuits. It’s no mystery why doctors support that law and are fiercely protective of it. But the law has also kept many medical malpractice victims from the courtroom.

My wife of over 50 years, Annette, died in 2005 due to negligence in an Atlanta area hospital. I have contacted 15 lawyers and they have all told me that, while my wife’s death was preventable, the state’s tort reform law makes it financially undesirable for them to take my case.

It is even harder for people whose loved ones were killed in an ER to pursue justice. They are forced to prove that a doctor willfully and knowingly screwed up. That’s almost impossible to do after the fact.

That’s why Senate Bill 286 is so important. It will bring some fairness to malpractice victims and accountability to doctors. Good for senators Seabaugh and chance.

Robert Liss

Sandy Springs, Ga.

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