Health care tort reform and yarrow


Part of health insurance reform is tort reform.  We hear a lot of people talk about tort reform and how tort reform is necessary.  I worked for three years in a very prestigious plaintiff’s litigation firm.

Three big points to make.

1. Everyone is against lawsuits until a battery explodes in their face, a stairway collapses under their feet, a surgeon leaves forceps inside your belly or a radiologist misses a radiolucent lump in your brain.  Then as soon as someone perceives that they’ve been hurt they come running to a lawyer to fix their problem.  My point is that just like government provided economic benefits, you are against the other guy’s, not your own.  You want tort reform for them, not for you.  Look at the example of Tom Delay (Scumbag-TX), when his own father was hurt they wasted no time filing a lawsuit. Not to be out done you also have the example of Rick Santorum (Dirtbag-PA),

“Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., says that the No. 1 health care crisis in his state is medical lawsuit abuse and in the past he’s called for a $250,000 cap on non-economic damage awards or awards for pain and suffering. “We need to do something now to fix the medical liability problem in this country,” he declared at a rally in Washington D.C., this past spring.  But Santorum’s wife sued a doctor for $500,000 in 1999. She claimed that a botched spinal manipulation by her chiropractor led to back surgery, pain and suffering, and sued for twice the amount of a cap Santorum has supported.”

So just like I said everyone is for reform as long as it only restricts the other guy and not you personally.  You should see how people come running to lawyers as soon as they think they have “a case.”

2. The plaintiff’s bar accepts cases on contingency.  You know what this means?  Contingency means that a lawyer gets paid only if she wins.  The lawyer getting paid is contingent on them winning the case.   This is a big deal.  Expert witnesses in cases can cost $5,000 or even $10,000 for a single day!!  Plus they always want to be put up in the most expensive hotel rooms.  A big case can go on for two or three years.  There has to be depositions, which are expensive.  Maybe the lawyer wants some of his own testing done or he ma need to hire a PI to do some footwork.   Plus there can be tens, hundreds or even thousands of hours put into a big case.

The whole time that the case is pending the secretary needs to be paid, rent needs to be paid, insurance needs to be paid, utilities need to be paid.  You get the idea.  All of this money is out of the lawyer’s own pocket.  If he loses the case he not only is out all of his out of pocket expenses, but he never gets paid for his time.  ZERO.

So lawyers will only accept cases that have a very good chance of being successfully pleaded.  A lawyer will not accept a marginal case, because they can work for years and pay tens of thousands of dollars in out of pockets expenses and than never get paid because they lose the case.

Would you work on contingency?

3. It is very difficult to win a case.  The jury pool has been pretty well corrupted.  The insurance industry, big business and their paid servants in Congress have been sure to inform everyone of run away jury awards, the hot coffee case and every aberrant two standard deviations out of the norm award.  It is very tough to win a jury case.  Questions of doubt are answered in favor of the defendant.  The plaintiff needs to convince everyone.  The defense just needs to convince one.

Don’t easily give up your right to seek a redress for your injuries.  Those of you opposed to government involvement in the health care system, those who cry socialism, are you prepared tohave the same government set caps on lawsuit damages?  It’s a bad idea.


This is yarrow.  It used to be called names like soldier herb or knight’s wort because yarrow can stop bleeding.  Yarrow is one of our most useful herbal remedies.  It is particularly good for women and the problems they may have related to menopause and menses.   It is worth reading up on.

02This is a nice shot to show you how you can identify yarrow.  Notice the leaves look fernlike.  Each leaf is almost feathery.  It’s latin name is something like millefoil.  The prefix mille means something like thousands, same prefix as millipede, because millipedes got 1,000 legs.  Well yarrow has 1,000 leaves, each leaf is like 1,000 sub-leaves.

Here is a pic of it blooming.

oDon’t confuse it with wild carrot.  The leaves and flowers are different.  A yarrow poultice is used to stop bleeding.  Yarrow tea is used for colds, fevers and internal bleeding.  It’s also known as an anti-inflammatory.  So get your own field guides and look up yarrow.  Yarrow is a must for your herbal remedy toolbox.

9 Responses to “Health care tort reform and yarrow”

  1. Michael Says:

    Just a point of interest. The amount awarded in the infamous hot coffee case was the amount of money McDonalds makes on coffee sales in a single day. It wasn’t pulled out of thin air, and all the woman wanted was for them to pay the medical bills of having to have her womanhood rebuilt after being horribly burned. The coffee was only a few degrees hotter than advertised, but the difference of a few degrees is the difference between second and third degree burns. The case wasn’t based on her spilling on herself, it was based on trying to get bills paid for third degree burns to her genitals. The Jury came up with the massive number to Punish McDonalds, she never asked for it.

  2. Ann Says:

    How much did the attorney receive?

    My objection is not to the victims, but I simply do not believe that attorneys deserve half the award. Sorry, I just don’t. A reasonable amount, yes… but not half of a 12 million dollar settlement.

  3. Abraham Says:


    Typically, the fee for contingency arrangements is 1/3. The other arrangement would be for attorneys to accept cases on an hourly fee basis, but most people who get hurt due to another’s negligence couldn’t afford to pay the hourly fee and the negligent party would literally be getting away with murder or selling unsafe products in many instances.

    Should the attorney be paid if he loses the case? It could have been 1/3 of zero. Then would you support the attorney billing the client $50,000 if he lost the case?

    No offense, but you probably haven’t been involved in the legal biz so you just don’t understand the risk involved when an attorney decides to accept a case on contingency. Do you get paid every week or only when you win? How about the ball team in your state?

    I don’t know if you ever sued a GM, Goldman Sachs or McDonalds, but it AIN’T EASY!!

    The attorney that sued McDonalds for instance, any idea how long that case ran for? One and a half years from the time the complaint was filed to the time of judgment. There are over 100 docket entries. Experts had to be paid. Deposition had to be paid for. The attorney had to pay for his rent, insurance, secretary and so on.

    That means the whole time the case is going on two years the attorney isn’t getting a paycheck. If he lost the case he never would have been paid at all.

    More importantly than how much an individual lawyer makes though is how people are protected because of attorneys. The government ain’t watching out for you. It’s the threat of a lawsuit that makes big biz toe the line.

  4. susan Says:

    lawyers get a bad rap. everyone has a lawyer joke or comment. that is until they need one! why would a lawyer be expected to work for free? what other occupation that required many years of schooling and sacrifice, not to mention HUGE school loan debt would be expected to work for free or at a reduced rate?

  5. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit Says:

    Would I work on contingency? Of course. But then, I’m a lawyer.

    Not a personal injury lawyer, however.

    That said, your typical contingency fee arrangement varies from lawyer to lawyer to lawyer, but the 1/3 is common. Some firms will have a 1/4 if the matter settles before trial, and additional 40% if there’s a verdict and 50% if it goes to appeal.

    Other than that, excellent discussion.

  6. Michael Blair Says:

    I work in the hospital industry and I am supportive of legitimate legal claims, but there are so many cases lacking merit that get through the system. Whether the degree of awards are perceived to be excessive or actually are results in physicians practicing defensive medicine costing the industry hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

    The overriding fear causes this overreaction and as a country, we need to get to a point where providers believe and trust the system.

  7. Marcus, Alvin New Hampshire Says:

    The premise that doctors only go the extra mile with test and procedures to cure their patients’ ills, “is just because they are afraid of lawyers”, I find ludicrous as a patient, and I am sure most doctors must find it insulting. As long as there are means available to help their patient, a doctor will try it, plain and simple, it is why they became doctors.

    That said, there is evidence to test what effect tort reform has on health care delivery and costs. Many states past strong tort reform many years ago (like Texas), yet despite the drop in malpractice awards, healthcare cost is still and have continued to sky rocket in those states. The insurance companies are more profitable, but health care and health care costs are no better off.

    I have no problem with capping malpractice awards or creating a health damages pool, in that case, no caps on awards. The patient gets the first X million and the pool gets the rest, the layer gets x%. The pool is set aside for healthcare funding, (med students grants, hospital improvements, etc).

  8. Alexander Says:

    Great post! Thank for sharing!
    How to become a lawyer

  9. Tolino Says:

    I’m curious to find out what blog system you’re utilizing?
    I’m experiencing some small security issues with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more safe.

    Do you have any suggestions?

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