In 2005 the Illinois legislature enacted the Medical Malpractice Reform Act. The law is nothing new to the State of Illinois. Twice before this type of law was enacted and subsequently struck down as a violation of the state constitution. The Supreme Court has twice decided in favor of patients and against the insurance companies seeking to protect their own profits.
The current case before the Illinois Supreme Court is really a case about a little girl who placed her life in the hands of physicians that she and her family trusted. This little girl has a name and it is Abigaile LeBron.
Abigaile is a three-year-old whose life has been catastrophically altered by the severe and disabling brain injury that she suffered as a result of medical malpractice. Due to this negligence Abigaile will never live a normal life, will have to forever be feed through a feeding tube and will require constant care and attention from round the clock caregivers.
The arbitrary cap on damages contained in the Medical Malpractice Reform Act of 2005 has been castigated as it does not protect those who have been most harmed by medical and hospital negligence. The Medical Malpractice Reform Act of 2005 was succesfully passed by the legislature due to the big money lobbying efforts of the state's insurance companies. Other then line the pockets of the insurance indusrty, this law does nothing to help protect the rights of the citizens of our state.
As a result of this overwhelming excercise in corporate greed, a little girl like Abigaile, who suffers immensely as a result of medical malpractice, will be limited in her potential recovery simply because she was was the victim of medical malpractice, as opposed to some other form of negligence.
The Illinois Constitution exists to ensure individual rights and freedoms to all citizens of Illinois, rich and poor, regardless of the mechanism of their injury..
Abigaile's case is now before the Illinois Supreme Court. The insurance companies hired Theodore Olson, the former Solicitor-General for the Bush Administration, to argue that caps on medical malpractice awards are necessary to prevent a state-wide crisis causing doctors to leave the state due to the high cost of medical malpractice premiums. What they have neglected to tell the public is that the rights of little people, like Abigaile, are being abridged and ignored in order to correct the self created problems of a bloated and failing insurance industry that has canibalized marketshare and mismanaged investments resulting in increased insurance premiums for doctors through no fault of their patients. Sadly, this very legislation contains much needed insurance reforms that have had a positive effect on correcting some of these issues by actually reducing malpractice premiums. If the insurance companies were honest they would take a hard look at their own conduct and admit that their bottom line has dissolved due to their own greed and not by supposed frivoulous malpractice lawsuits.
This case is now in the hands of our Supreme Court. Lets hope they will strike down the Medical Malpractice Reform Act of 2005 as they have done twice before and stand up for the innocent victims of medical malpractice.
For over 40 years Goldberg & Goldberg has been working hard to protect the rights of the victims of medical malpractice and other negligence in Chicago, throughout Illinois and nationwide. If you wish to discuss a medical malpractice or other matter with one of our lawyers, please contact us at 800-368-0255 . You initial consultation is absolutely free.