Why I Won't Vote for John Edwards

From N&O 7/19/1998 "Edwards' success is campaign issue"

...But lawyers who have faced Edwards in the courtroom say he is a master of playing on the heartstrings of jurors who have a natural sympathy for brain-damaged babies or for people who have been paralyzed. And they argue that Edwards, more than any other personal injury lawyer in North Carolina, is responsible for changing the legal climate, where huge verdicts are now acceptable.

The cost for some caught in Edwards lawsuits is more than monetary.

That was the case of Dr. Brian Sherrington, a Southern Pines pediatrician, who was sued along with an obstetrician and Moore County Regional Hospital when a baby was born prematurely with severe respiratory problems and with brain damage.

Sherrington was not involved in the baby's delivery. But after the baby was born, he was called by a nurse for a brief telephone consultation when he was the only doctor the hospital could reach. He told the hospital to get a chest X-ray.

Sherrington says three years of "agony" elapsed from the time he was sued to when the suit against him was dropped in 1992. (A settlement was reached between the parents of the child and the obstetrician.)

"To say it had an impact on my life and career is an understatement," says Sherrington, who has practiced for 22 years. "It made me more defensive. I'm second-guessing myself more often. I am second-guessing patients. Are they really telling me everything? Are they holding back anything? Those sorts of things never used to float around my mind."

One result of the suit is that Sherrington stopped practicing neonatology, the branch of pediatrics that deals with the care of sick newborns. He still practices pediatrics.

"I was depressed," Sherrington says. "I even thought about leaving medicine, leaving the area. It was really devastating. I just kept feeling guilty about the whole thing. I felt I had made a mistake, despite evidence to the contrary...."

Dr. Sherrington is a good person and a good doctor. He was my pediatrician when I was a child and I am happy he is now my child's. Sorry, but he did not deserve what John Edwards did to him. That Dr. Sherrington dropped out of neonatology is not only a loss to the community, it is symptomatic of what happens to good doctors at the hands of trial lawyers who claim they have done something "wrong."

Comments

Nor am I

I'm not automatically holding people who make a lot of money in contempt, but, as I wrote, the CEOS are not the ones that are getitng steamrolled by the system, it's the regular Americans that are.

We are in the midst of a very pro corp culture at the moment, in many ways and if we, as Democrats don't advocate for regular Americans and the poor, who will?

Good doctors

I have no doubt that the doctor discussed was a 'good doctor' but good doctors sometimes make mistakes or even misjudgment. Sometimes it may be because the proper equipment was not available to them but as a result, someone has to apy an unreasonable price. That is why doctors carry insurance. Not that every frivilous misdeed should result in a law suit, but so innocent children don't have to pay with a lifetime of neglect due to lack of funds. Also, those parents who loved their child dearly need the funds to get the necessary care for the child.

I think you probably live in Union County. So do I. The good people of Union County are just in their thinking and quite loyal to each other. I like that. But, they are also just in assessing the need for caring and need for helping others. This is what happened in this case. If you haven't read 'Four Trials, I suggest you read it. I sincerely believe you will see the case differently after that.

I'm sorry

a good person got sued, but somebody has to stand up for the unjustly injured. John Edwards has been the attorney for several children who were terribly injured. In those cases, thank God for him. He has made a lot of money, but he has done a lot of good with it too. Everybody hates lawyers until they need one.

Lovex7

True, but if in standing up for the unjustly injured

he does something unjust, is that OK?

I'm not saying he did....just playing devil's advocate. Trust me, primary season will be way worse than general election.... (Love my grammar, doncha?)



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

If the good doctor truly did nothing wrong

then his defense attorney should have been able to get the case dismissed as to him without much trouble. If it was as clear as OP seems to believe, how could the case stand up to a motion to dismiss as to this defendant?

Big corps want us to fear a 'tort' crisis.

Its important to remember that big corporations have a strong incentive to create the feeling that there is a "tort" crisis.

However, according to Abstract of the work published by Amitabh Chandra, Shantanu Nundy, and Seth A. Seabury in Health Affairs (Seth is an economist at the at the Rand Institute for Civil Justice), what is driving up the cost of malpractice settlements is the cost of medical care.

We used data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) to study the growth of physician malpractice payments. Judgments at trial account for 4 percent of all malpractice payments; settlements account for the remaining 96 percent. The average payment grew 52 percent between 1991 and 2003 (4 percent per year) and now exceeds $12 per capita each year. These increases are consistent with increases in the cost of health care. A preoccupation with data on judgments, extreme awards, or specific specialties results in an incomplete understanding of the growth of physician malpractice payments

Note: I only have the abstract of this particular research, the reprint costs $13. But google "debunking the tort crisis" and you'll find plenty more.

Energize America

Broken system.

Let's not forget that nearly every system in the good old US of A is broken right now, and that goes for the malpractice system as well. All sides share some blame. Doctors might find themselves in a better position to argue if they "disbarred" health care providers that showed a pattern of malpractice, but they don't. Likewise, lawyers might place themselves in a better light if they disbarred those who file frivolous law suits, as Senator Edwards proposed in the 2004 election, but they don't.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

costs.

Just as an aside, there are places like Pennsylvania where high malpractice insurance is driving OB-GYNs out of business. So, I thought I would look into the average income and costs for neonatologists.

Neonatologist Salary $181,372 (new) $300,461 (ave) $417,058 (experienced)

So, an experienced neonatologist makes about $400K. The malpractice rate in Orange County, CA, which are the highest in the nation, is $407. Not bad.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I know.

I've looked and looked for other sources, just to check.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Total medical malpractice cost: >2% of all health care spending

Speaking of costs...

What Doctors Are Really Complaining About Is Rising Malpractice Premiums

-snip

The total cost of medical malpractice insurance is less than two percent of all spending on health care in the United States. And medical malpractice litigation has been a part of American law for over 200 years. So how - in the view of medical professionals - can such litigation be a serious threat to medical care?

The answer, according to the professionals, is that medical malpractice awards and medical malpractice premiums began to rise steeply sometime around 1999, and are continuing to rise very fast--faster than inflation. If they continue to rise, serious damage to the medical profession, they say, may be done.

Rising Judgments: A Factor, But Not the Only Factor, In Rising Premiums

Why are the premiums rising? The professionals cite large malpractice damages awards. But the correlation is complex. For example, medical malpractice awards rose in the early and mid-'90s, while medical malpractice premiums stayed flat -- and even fell.

Column continues below ↓ Moreover, many factors -including, but not limited to, malpractice judgments - contribute to insurance pricing. We know this because there have been at least two previous cycles of steep increases in premiums in the recent past, once during the '70's and once during the '80's. The medical system survived these shocks. What we have learned in the aftermath of these crises is that the medical malpractice market is strongly affected by changes in the investment environment as well as errors in judgment about how to increase market share and the management of the reserves needed to pay out claims.

con't...

Robert

That's $407/unit of insurance.

I don't know about neonatologist's, but OB-GYNs in non-crisis states pay probably around $40,000/year in premiums. In crisis states premiums can easily go over $100,000/year for an OB-GYN. There's a Harvard study I found one time when I was working on something else. I'll see if I can find it again. These figures are a several years old, so rates have probably gone up a bit.

I tried to get an exact quote, but every source I checked asked for my medical license. I didn't think they'd accept my NCDL. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I found rates for OB/GYNs

They are about what you said, but there were also studies suggesting neonatologists were charged less. {shrug}, I too couldn't find hard data.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Absurd comment

The same people who say that the market will provide all things as long as people are willing to pay for them are the same people who are arguing for tort reform because "lawyers are driving good doctors out of business". There is a huge flaw in logic here. Doctors are paid well because we value their service. If the market is so responsible for so many things then people will be willing to pay more money for the services of good doctors.

What all this boils down to is that "free market" libertarians are arguing for the destruction of one 'industry' in favor of another. They are arguing for this by asking that the government place greater regulation on an industry. Except, unlike those of us who would like to see regulations that are used to protect consumers and manage to allow an industry to continue; those who argue for tort reform are asking for regulations that do not protect consumers and aim to destroy the industry they are regulating.

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"

Just like HMOs

I remember the argument that HMOs would keep doctors honest. Yeah, but who keeps the HMOs honest?

The really, really sad part is that the underlying problem is this - humans are greedy bastards, for the most part. If you don't keep an eye out on each other, it seems like the biggest greedy bastard will do whatever they want and to hell with society. Look at the robber barons, they were good free market capitalists.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Right.

The absolute best doctor that ever lived IMO, retired in his early 50's because he wasn't willing to go into an HMO setting and be told how to treat his patients. This was more than a little traumatic for me as he had saved my life years earlier. It was unbelievable that a doctor of that calibre would be forced out for his ethics by some scheming, scamming, money hungry group at the onset of the Republican era.

Well said, Blue South

Up with consumer rights and protections for the people. Big corps are realizing record profits, the upper income are seeing big increases in their income and their net worth continues to grow, while the middle class workers are slipping and the poverty rate has increased. Whose rights need to be protected?

There is an enormous gap in wealth and protecting the upper eschelon will only exacerbate that. It's not the privileged that need to be advocated for!

SPLib if from Moore County...along with lcloud and me

Moore County is home to Pinehurst and Southern Pines among other towns, most are retirement meccas and most people that practice either in the medical field or as lawyers make pretty good money here.

SPLib, I can understand that since your doctor friend was the one who (as you perceive it)was wronged in this case because a lawyer did his job. As you also admit, he did the job that any good lawyer would do, and your doctor friend also did the job that any doctor would do. How does this make John Edwards the bad guy? (Where's Lance when you need him?)

PS Did your doctor friend bill for his services or was it given free of charge?
No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Momo, Not really a "friend.

Momo,

Not really a "friend. Just a doctor I like who got me through childhood in pretty good shape.

IMHO, any good lawyer would probably "cast a wide net" but then he would throw back the fish he didn't want/need. Surely, the whole medical situation in this case needed to be looked at, but once it was clear this particular doctor's role was a non-role, he should have been released. Unfortunately, he was kept "flopping around on the deck" until the case was settled by the doctor and hospital actually involved. As I said in another response, if they truly felt he contributed to the problem, why did they drop the case after a totally different party settled?

Because

most likely the settlement was for all claims against all parties. That would be standard language in a settlement.

Regardless

Regardless of what you want to call him... friend, father, uncle, spouse, whatever, you are defending the actions of someone strictly on your emotionally charged view of what they have otherwise done. That has absolutely nothing to do with the case under discussion. The only way you can intelligently discuss that is to discuss the facts as they were presented to the jury. Otherwise, you are simply speculating that he did a good job. As for the repeated 'fish net' scenerio, you are making an obvious attempt to 'fish' for emotional responses yourself. Politics and good discussions are based on facts not on someone's specualation about mythical 'fish nets'. We all know what assume does and that is another good reason to stick with the facts. A jury of their peers has already reviewed the relevent data and found the good doctor guilty. Therefore, it is a moot point with only self-serving political gain at stake for your. We both know that the real point here is to 'get the dirty laundry in front of the public'. Well, there is no dirty laundry. The jury decided that and now you are attempting a smear tactic.

It's interesting ...

that the very things that cause SPLib to feel one way about JRE are the exact same things that convince me he'd be a great American President:

the qualities of true passion and genuine conviction;
the well-honed skills of argument and persuasion;
extraordinary intelligence;
super human drive and work ethic;
all tempered by a kind of empathy and humility that can only be born of deep personal loss.

Personally, I'd say the Oval office has been missing all of the above for nigh on to six years. I can understand not liking John Edwards if he's on your opponents' side, but I'm not sure I understand why you wouldn't want this guy fighting on our side -- the United States' side, that is -- on the world stage.

Truth is, the next President of the United States is going to have some heavy sheee...stuff... to deal with and he/she had better be up to the task, or we're all in for a very rough ride. Our country is trillions of dollars in debt; we owe the Chinese (who have apparently decided that all of Asia is traditionally really "China" and they want it all back) our over-fed arses; we're stuck in a middle-eastern sand pit that is sucking up our money, our honor and our best and brightest; nobody trusts us further than they can throw us, and even our friends don't enjoy claiming us in public anymore.

America needs passion, hope, challenge, unity, attitude, humility, sacrifice, ability and intelligence now more than ever from our leaders. JRE is one leader who can bring those things to the table.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Smearing good Dem leaders

I suppose this is as good of a place to post this as anywhere...I am really opposed to spreading RW smears about our fellow Democrats. I think our time and energy would be much better invested in taking down Republicans---those who are really responsible for nearly destroying our country.

Additionally, a small clip from an article with no link, no reference to it's author, or exactly where it was published is highly questionable.

Regardless, aiding the right wing in their trashy, smear tactics is very Un-Democratic. We're better than that.

His intent wasn't to spread a smear

He was expressing a valid concern and making a valid point. It actually is doing everyone here a service. Do you really think the Clinton and Clark people will go easy on JRE?

If we can't handle having a discussion here about the facts of a case even if we have to pay for the article to get them(Thanks, SPLib for not violating copyright...I'm a bit sensitive to that. :)) so that we can have a discussion on the facts instead of jumping to JREs defense based on a "he is too a nice guy" argument, then we aren't ready for the big time. The Clinton and Clark people will eat us alive.

Hell, the best thing that could happen would be for us to do opposition research on our own guy so we know all the answers and understand the accusations the other side will make. We need to be ready to defend JRE with something better than "well Clark/Clinton is an ugly poo poo head - neener, neener, neener".

Do I think that JRE would relish the thought he ruined(I'm being dramatic...but go with me here) a man's life and denied a community of an excellent neonatologist? No, I don't....at least I don't want to think that of him. However, I have absolutely no factual basis upon which to make this statement that would satisfy someone who isn't already a fan of John Edwards.

Do I think Clark/Clinton and Republican supporters aren't perfectly capable of finding this article and using its contents to argue against Edwards. I know they probably already have this article, so how do we defend JRE when this comes up again, because getting angry that someone brings this up doesn't defend JRE against the claims.

Also, showing no sympathy toward someone just because they are wealthy or a doctor isn't going to win friends and influence people to vote for John Edwards.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Intent or not

I didn't question any "intents" but it is RW smear and I happen to think that many of the responses here were intelligent and heartfelt comments.

We did discuss the facts (posting info on malpractice costs, info about due diligence, etc) and as I noted in my post, to base your vote solely on feelings for one doctor, rather than the facts is not wise, imo. Who "couldn't handle the discussion?" I thought Iddybud's responses were particularly well thought out.

I'm not going to speculate on how Senator Edwards feels about performing due diligence to ensure his case was handled properly. The fact is, "frivilous lawsuits" is a scare tactic put out by the Republicans so they can push tort reform which benefits big corps.

This is not to say we don't need some safety measures put in place, as Senator Edwards has suggested to weed out frivilous suits, but they are not the big problem that the rightwing claims they are.

BTW, I've been reading the Clarkie smears for years, this happens to be one of their favorites.

My father is a liberal Democrat

civil defense litigator and he can tell thousands of stories about frivolous law suits. They are a problem. Most never make it to court and are settled, but they still cost money and drain resources.

You question my reference to the doctor's life being ruined. I don't think a person has to be dead or permanently disabled to consider his/her life ruined. Maybe the doctor doesn't, but it sure as heck doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Three years of doubts, three years of having a lawsuit hanging over you as you try to go about your life, three years of having patients and other doctors having doubts about your abilities, three years of attorney's fees, three years of stress, no longer practicing in a field of medicine of your choice.....

sounds pretty sucky to me.

Shrugging it off as collateral damage just isn't good enough and comes across as heartless.

I never said Iddybud didn't make some thoughtful comments. My response to her was also thoughtful.

SPLib's comment/concern was that a doctor he knows was unjustly caught up in a law suit and his life has been changed for the worse. SPLib didn't condemn all trial lawyers, but he did say that this damage done to a man he knows is a reason he wouldn't vote for John Edwards. What is so ridiculous about this? If a candidate did something to hurt someone I know and respect it would sure give me pause before supporting him. He didn't blame Edwards for something another trial lawyer did, he blamed him for something JRE did or was involved in.

Instead of addressing SPLib's concern, many of the comments on this thread ridiculed the writer and/or attacked the doctor.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

The reason

No, he didn't say "a reason" he said "the reason I wont vote for John Edwards" and then proceeded to provide one small clip of an article with no other background info on this case.

Three years of being inconvenienced does not necessarily equate to someone's life being "ruined" But again, we have so little info on this case, we don't really know the facts or the impact on that doctor's life, do we? Nor do we know John Edwards actual role in that, do we? So, to throw out terms like 'slimey bastard' is pretty uncalled for, imo.

Defend him all you like Southern Dem, but we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

BTW, I have 3 attorneys in my family, so apparently, there are a lot of us here with attorney family members!

LOL! That must be it!

And you're right, there are not enough facts about this doctor who supposedly had his "life ruined" or the case in general, to argue it effectively. But, I still stand with my general comments about the frame, "frivilous lawsuits," Bush's tort reform and right wing smears (lots of hyperbole with few facts).

Where are facts vs. emotionally-charged opinions?

Hell, the best thing that could happen would be for us to do opposition research on our own guy so we know all the answers and understand the accusations the other side will make.

I agree.

My question is: What is SPLib's case against Edwards in this instance? SPLib bemoans the fact that a doctor had to endure the experience of going through a lawsuit.

What is the actual case against Edwards as attorney? It seems that SPLib may have been politically speaking out against any successful lawyer that would have possibly sued his doctor because he LIKES his doctor. Why is that a convincing case for anyone else NOT voting for Edwards, should he run for President?

In my opinion, "having sympathy" is not the answer in the case of our defending a leader, on a politics-oriented forum, who we believe is honest, trustworthy, ethical, and capable of leading a nation. Empathy for others is always the indication of emotional intelligence. For professional people, there are limits to how far you can go with sympathy in business and in politics before you do those you represent harm.

Do I feel sorry that the doctor is second guessing himself after having been sued? Surely. We're all human. We know how that feels. Do I sit here and say "Awww - the poor doctor" or "Awww - poor SPLib" in the case where it's fairly obvious that the focus is about politics? (Mind you, I didn't say it was political - SPLib said it was in the very title of the post heading this topic - 'Why I won't vote for John Edwards.')

We're talking about those professionals, like John Edwards was as a trial lawyer, who are responsible for facilitating and administering justice for the law's sake and the client's sake.

All I have seen, from SPLib's case is that he really likes his doctor and he won't vote for John Edwards because John Edwards sued his doctor.

The excerpt from the article claims Edwards, more than any other personal injury lawyer in North Carolina, is responsible for having changed the legal climate, where huge verdicts are now acceptable. Well, the way I see it, Senator Edwards must be one hell of a trial lawyer if he accomplished that single handedly. Yet, if you look at national trends, you'll see that it's happened all over the nation. Shall we credit John Edwards with all of the nation's big court awards?

I guess, as I stated at the beginning of the post, I don't see why we should defend Edwards against an opinion so very personal and not completely rational. How do we have a discussion of 'the facts' when there has only been opinion provided? Help me out?

Isn't it funny

how everyone hates lawyers - until they need one?

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

Even very good doctors can

Even very good doctors can make mistakes, and there are some mistakes for which they will be found legally liable. We have a legal system for the purpose of administering the rule of law. If the plaintiff had had no solid case, the judge would have tossed it out on summary judgement. I am not at all surprised to learn that professional advice and direction given by any doctor in the case would be subject to review in a legal malpractice case. For the plaintiff attorney to have left one party - in this case the pediatrician who is complaining, out of the list of defendants would have been a form of legal malpractice or disservice to the client at best. So the doctor is second guessing himself after being sued. Perhaps he should have been second-guessing all along. So the doctor got depressed after having been sued. There are pschologists and therapists for self doubt and depression. None of that should remove an American citizen's right to a day in court and a legal review of a potential malpractice case. Ever.

My experience

I should add that I spent many years representing a major insurance company and settling cases with men and women on the other side of the fence who were the trial lawyers. They are necessary professional servants to those seeking justice and fairness in a world where it's not easily found. I have a healthy respect for the rule of law in America. Our civil justice system is set to protect the interests of even the poorest and most vulnerable. Some have no idea how to navigate "the system" when they have suffered an injury or injustice. And believe you me, if you don't think "the system" is stacked against the little person and trial lawyers by the insurance company attorneys, you may want to walk a mile in the trial lawyer's shoes. They work very hard for justice. Yet, you're talking about individual trial lawyers as if they were "Goliaths." Doctors are insured - let's remember that. The malpractice judgements generally aren't out of pocket for these doctors - and their "Goliath" insurers have their own shrewd attorneys. John Edwards made his mark because of his wit, quickness on his feet, intelligence, and ability to convince others. Good traits for a world leader, I would think. By the way, count the number of attorneys who are elected U.S. leaders today.

The courts can reduce or raise amounts awarded

If the jury comes up with a ridiculous amount for an award for the plaintiff, whether high or low, the court can review the case and adjust the award as they see fit. SEE LINK

Hmmm...that's what my father does

...small world.

While I respect your opinion, I really take issue with this part:

Doctors are insured - let's remember that. The malpractice judgements generally aren't out of pocket for these doctors - and their "Goliath" insurers have their own shrewd attorneys.

You know, in my book, it is never OK to sue someone just because they can afford it, just because it doesn't come out of their pocket or just because they have smart attorneys too. That's just wrong. Insurance companies are huge profit centers, but does that mean we have the right to pillage and plunder their bottom line? While this might not have been what you meant, it did come across that way even after multiple readings.

Yes, there are good attorneys on both sides of the aisle, but there are also quite a few unscrupulous ones. There are attorneys who don't care how many innocent people have their lives ruined as long as they get a huge settlement.

As long as there are bad money grubbing trial lawyers, John Edwards will be painted with the brush by others and if we can't have a better response than what has shown up here on this thread, then we can't represent John the way we should. I'm a fan and some of what has been said here on this thread has my feathers ruffled.


Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I grew up in the household of an attorney as well

and learned to respect the law and lawyers more than a lot of people - and look down on the ambulance chasers more than most. I think one thing that was posted in this entire thread has to be repeated and remembered:

None of that should remove an American citizen's right to a day in court and a legal review of a potential malpractice case. Ever.

That's the bottom line, really. Do attorneys sometimes cast too wide a net? Undoubtedly. Did that happen in this case? There's no way of telling from the information we have - it's just one article, written 8 years ago. We'd have to read the entire case, or rather, we'd have to have legal experts read the entire case, and have their opinions on it. I wouldn't be willing to make a call on it given just the information that has been posted here. Just like medical records, legal cases can be complex, and one can't always understand the implications of one just from a second or third hand layman's summary.

I don't know the doctor in question personally, but I've heard of him; there aren't that many pediatricians in this town. He's a good doctor - at least by reputation. I have no reason to doubt that. He has as much right to legal representation as the patient, yes? I would hope that he had such. That point hasn't been addressed.

Based on what I know of how the law works, and how lawyers are supposed to do their jobs, Edwards did his job, and did it well. I believe he is an extremely intelligent, articulate man who would make an excellent president. That said, I agree with SD. This is a valid discussion. This kind of comment/argument will come up - it came up before, and it will come up again.

I would ask you, SPLib, to attempt to keep as open a mind as possible. You may never be willing to vote for John Edwards - but it may turn out that he winds up the best choice in 2008. In 2004, I found myself voting for John Kerry, even though I didn't think he'd be a good president, because I knew that I couldn't not vote, and I couldn't vote for Bush. (and no, I am not a third party kind of girl. Perhaps you are.) Anyhow - that's my more than .02.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

Interesting comments-Additional thoughts

By saying that you believe it's "never OK to sue someone just because they can afford it" you have set up the premise that I suggested that I believed it - and I don't. In America, anyone has a "right" to sue anyone under the sun - for any reason. I would prefer to have that option open for all Americans rather than having those options limited and controlled by those who make the rules based on polictics. As I said, I have a genuine love for justice and freedom. So, I thought I would clear up the path from which I'm arriving at this opinion.

That said, your question about those with "deep pockets":

"does that mean we have the right to pillage and plunder their bottom line?"

Are you suggesting that seeking justice is "pillage?" I see an unmistakable prejudice there. As someone who has professionally "been there" and seen both sides of the coin, I feel differently. Shouldn't we attack the root cause and not those who administer and facilitate justice? We have "the right" to sue anyone for anything, but it doesn't mean we can expect to prevail unless a jury and/or judge sees that our pursuit of justice is within reason and has a base for dispute in the rule of law.

If the courts are approving out-of control jury awards, we must seek the answer through democratic means. Those citizens who are most concerned with awards that are too high and breaking the backs of insurers and those who are forced to purchase that insurance are trying to get the public to focus on what I agree is a real problem. I think a cap on certain awards is a good idea.

Blaming the doctors, the lawyers, and the insurance companies will not solve the problem. It will only ensure a perpetuation of teh problem. There will still be a need for trial lawyers and there wil still be a system of justice for injured parties who will retain the right to sue.

One thing that hasn't been brought up

and may deserve some examination is this:

The hardest thing to do in a medical malpractice case is for a plaintiff's attorney to find a medical expert who will testify for the plaintiff. To have a snowball's chance in hell of winning civil suit, you need a willing expert to testify that the action that caused the injury in question was not considered standard/best practice by the majority of practicing professionals. Most experts who testify in medical malpractice cases are retired doctors. But this specialty is different. Neonatology is a field that is constantly evolving and changing. Keeping up with the lastest best practices requires continuous training and ... well, practicing.

I have not even read the article in question so I may be talking out of my arse here -- and I trust y'all will let me know if that is the case ;) -- but I'm wondering if keeping the doctor involved in the suit was a way of ensuring that the plaintiff's case had expert testimony -- even if hostile -- to counter the insurance company's defense (usually that what was done was standard practice and any other doc would have done exactly the same so it couldn't have been negligence).

The sad -- very sad and very unfortunate for everyone who gets screwed by it, includeing doctors -- state of affairs is that any currently practicing physician or medical professional who testifies against his/her own can kiss their hospital priviledges goodbye. It could have been, as horrible as it seems, that this poor doctor was a victim of current hospital/insurance industry practice of blackballing any doc or nurse or other professional who testifies on behalf of any plaintiff in any trial.

Basically I've just said that the whole damn system on both the medical and legal sides is FUBAR. That's a sorry ending to a long comment. I'm not sure where else I could take i, though, so I'll just leave it there for now. Obviously, I have no answers.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Can't I leave you folks alone for one minute?

I go away to buy Christmas gifts and THIS is what I come back to? Let's clear this up.

1. SPLib posted an unfair excerpt from a nearly-unavailable source on John Edwards about a vague case the facts of which NONE OF US KNOW!!!!!!!!!!
2. Those of us who supported John Edwards fired back that: this was an unfair excerpt, that we don't know what actually happened, and that physicians are held accountable for malpractice in this country, AND, that there are PROBLEMS galore.
3. Exception was taken to that defense, assuming, I assume, that it was blind loyalty.

Okay. Let's recap. We don't know JACK-SHIT about this case, other than a poorly-excerpted article from Rob Christensen. SPLib has an obvious ax to grind with John Edwards. Who cares? Seriously? I'm sorry I ever responded to this, it reminds me of beating my head into the wall trying to talk to that homophobic, bigot Ogre. You can't get through to people like this, who have their minds sealed off behind a wall of anger.

This whole thread has turned into complete and utter crap. John Edwards is a trial attorney, he was a good one. People don't like trial attorney's. I will agree with SD that there needs to be a better response to these attacks, and I suggest we ask the man himself how he dealt with it in 1998.

"If folks understand what I do," Edwards says, "I think they won't feel bad about it. They'll feel good about it. I guess I have a lot more respect for voters than some people do. I think they will look well beyond superficial labels - for any of us, for me, for Sen. Faircloth and for any other candidate running."

Do you know what trolls try to do? They try to divide and conquer, they try to sew seeds of doubt. Mission accomplished. So, let's recap.

We Democrats.
They Republicans.

We Right.
They Wrong.

Our Policy Work.
Their Policy No Work.

Our internal differences small,
Difference between Them And Us, BIG.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

All is well, Mr. P.

There's lots of utter crap for sure, but it's an interesting anthropological study in what motivates and infuriates. No worries.

As many ACLU-ers say, the cure for offensive speech is . . . more speech.

I don't know the the original poster is a troll (maybe I'm naive) but perhaps just a misguided soul with a personal ax to grind. There's no way to overcome personal axes, so it may indeed have been a waste of time . . . but from my seat today, it was good to see the healthy debate.

I was tempted to throw in some pie recipes, but was too too bizzee to cook today.

Not productive.

A discussion of how to fix the screwed up medical/legal system in this country would be productive. THIS, is not productive. Which, Mr. SPLib, he who walks like a Republican and Quacks like a Republican, had to have in mind when he posted this blog.

Do you think he came into this expecting some sort of productive discussion? I don't think so, but then again I don't understand the conservative mind.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Blah Blah Blah

I figured I would get some responses.

I'm no troll. I'm no neocon. I guess I'm not a "liberal" either.

I'm just someone who has his own mind and tries to exercise it every once in a while. Forgive me for not being as blindly loyal to Edwards as you all purport the right to be for Bush.

Bottom line was I dont think Edwards kept the lawsuit up against my favorite doctor in good faith. Question my motives if you will, but I guess some of you might know nothing of small towns and good local people. But then maybe it's me as Edwards is a Moore County boy and I should be all about him

I came to this site out of genuine self-exploration (blame momo's blog on thepilot.com if you will). I'm trying to figure out just where I stand politically as so much out there just pisses me off. I guess I'm my own party.

I'm not stupid enough to think nobody would get riled up about my post, but I thought a few more would contemplate it for a half second and look past my apparent lack of proper liberal cowtowing to strike up an interesting conversation/debate. Isn't that what the internet is good for?

No, I'm not "taking my stuff and going home." That would be stupid and (I went to UNC just like Edwards) and don't need to cry to anyone, but enough have here made it clear that intolerance to even mildly arguable/objectionable views is not the sole territory of the right.

that's b.s.

if you wanted to strike up a good conversation/debate, you should have framed it as such - not as an attack on a particular candidate. Nearly everything you have posted here has had a rightish twist, why would we expect that this post to be anything different?

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Sorry SPLib

Some days I'm not so sure I belong here either. I thought I understood where you were coming from and figured you were really reaching out to engage in some discussion.

I agree many of the comments show blind loyalty to Edwards much like the right shows to Bush. It is just as unattractive coming from my side.



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I'm not sure acting as devils advocate...

when no one actually knows the facts is useful either. SPLib has showed up a lot of threads lately, and almost all his comments are right-leaning or conservative. I ask again, what aobut his original post, HIS post, suggests he is looking for a constructive debate and not just trolling? Not the comments afterwards, but in his original post? What is there that is NOT an attack looking for a rebuttal?

Also, I see a number of comments, mine included that point out just how broken the system is. But, again, if someone is working inside the system - that isn't wrong. You can't compare it to Black - he's looking at an indictment. That's night and day, Black and white.

I was being snarky when I said his doctor was responsible for all the uninsured folks in North Carolina just because he worked inside a system that left them uninsured - yet he would hold Senator Edwards to the same standard. Why is Edwards in the wrong for doing his job in the existing, broken system, but SPLib's doctor is not for doing his inside the broken system?

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

After discovery the facts were known

This man had no choice about being sued. They didn't ask him if it was OK. After discovery the Edwards legal team knew the facts. They had a choice to release the doctor from the suit or leave him named in the suit. He had no choice in the matter. Obviously, I don't have any facts outside of this article, but if at discovery the attorneys knew the doctor wasn't negligent they should have released him from the suit.

The only reason I make a parallel to Black is that we claim that whether what he did was illegal or not, he should have known it was wrong. Soooo, even if naming a doctor who carries no blame in a law suit is legal, that doesn't make it right. If Black should know the difference between right and wrong in a broken system(broken political system), then so should John Edwards. (broken legal system)



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Was he innocent? Did they know?

Don't know? Well, why are we discussing it? Because SPLib wants to cause waves. He doesn't want a discussion, he wants to create waves.

On the other hand, it is possible that the doctor wasn't innocent or at least the attorneys did not think he was innocent, but just couldn't prove he was guilty. Of course, that would be just wrong for me to jump to conclusions and slander someone based on whatever hypothesis popped into my head.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Attacking Edwards' legal career

That seems to be his goal here and to pronounce that THE reason he wont vote for Edwards is because his child's doctor was supposedly unfairly drug into a few years of litigation but no facts about the case were provided. Interesting.

One thing we do know is that Edwards was one of the top ten trial attorneys in the nation. He s a fighter and a advocated well for his clients. No doubt about that.

I don't understand why you think this man shouldn't have been

sued? He was the one the hospital reached, so what, that lets him off the hook? He was responsible by his oath for one thing! Just like medical personnel coming upon a car accident. Do you think the Doctor should keep going or handle the situation.

If he couldn't handle one phone call and do better than just suggesting an x-ray, in my opinion he should have had his license revoked forever.

I am quite sick of Doctors crying about their woes. A drunk who maims someone in a car accident can go to prison for many years and in some cases for life if someone is killed. Why should Doctors get a free ride when they are wrong and cause harm. I think what is described here as his own decision to for go neonatology and stay with pediatrics was his choice (another sign of weakness in is own being - no fortitude to continue or to learn from the mistake ) and so he pondered for a few years. How is that compared to an infant with a brain injury for life to live with? Do you think the two compare?

I would like to see Doctors face prison time for some of the harm and needless death they cause without care and a little more concern. Doctors prescribe drug interactions all the time, thinking that they know it all instead of looking in a PDR, they may listen to some Drug company rep that says no problems (or little side affects), how many Doctors do think really read the full disclosure pamphlets with all the drug samples they give out?

I am aghast that anyone on this thread thinks that an x-ray is all that was what this Doctor needed to do? I feel no sympathy for him what so ever. He has a life to carry on with, does the baby?

Using prejudice to attack Edwards?

"if at discovery the attorneys knew the doctor wasn't negligent they should have released him from the suit."

You are submitting your own prejudices here by assuming that the doctor was not negligent. It's obvious that none of us are familiar enough with this case to be analyzing what the attorneys had or did not have at discovery. But if there's one sure thing, it was that the court believed the matter was worthy of a trial - with that doctor named as a defendant. That's the law. You can blame the lawyers and attack John Edwards until the cows come back to the barn, but under the hay - all the day - remains the fact that we all are faced with responsibilities and choices. And, thank God, in America we have a justice system that allows for an injured party to have a public trial if questions of law and civil disputes cannot be worked out between private parties.

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