The suit for more suing

The SE Texas Record Apr. 18, 2009, 4:37pm

The plaintiff lawyers claim their class action lawsuit is about constitutional rights.

And not just one or two rights. The complaint cites a litany of travesties. The First, Fifth, Seventh, and Fourteenth Amendments have all been attacked by a single Texas state law.

That includes the right to a jury trial, the right to due process, the right to equal protection under the law, and the right to privileges and immunities as U.S. citizens, among others.

The words ring. The matter sounds important; as if it's a cause to get behind. That's what it appears to be. To us it's the verbiage of subterfuge.

This lawsuit, brought by a group of plaintiff's lawyers seeking to gut House Bill 4, otherwise known as Texas' medical liability reform, is about something less cerebral and more primal: money.

The lawyers used high-minded words and say they are worried about Texans' constitutional rights. Their critics say the lawyers want the court to kill the reforms so they can sue more, and make more money while doing it.

As reported by our Michelle Massey recently, the class action suit against medical liability reform currently is pending before Judge John T. Ward in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District.

House Bill 4, which caps at $250,000 for non-economic damages like pain and suffering and loss of consortium in medical malpractice suits, has put a hole in the big yacht plans of career doctor suers.

Sure they can recover actual damages for clients, like lost income or medical expenses. But cherry-on-top awards of many millions -- awards that bestow generational wealth upon certain plaintiffs and their lawyers -- now are harder to come by.

That's been tough on some nouveau riche lawyers, but easier on most Texans who have benefited from the significant influx of doctors to our state since House Bill 4 became law. Less jackpot justice means lower insurance rates for medical professionals with the positive result of more doctors returning and bringing more health care for everybody else.

Doctor shortages were a problem in Texas. Medical liability reform has proven to be an effective solution to the problem. That's what reform legislation is supposed to do -- help the citizens

Now a handful of lawyers want to overturn that benefit to the people by means of a lawsuit that's nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing. Their lawsuit is an act of self-interest, not the selfless battle against tyranny the lawsuit's language might lead one to believe.

More News