Navigation Links
The Case for Trial Lawyers
Date:7/8/2008

By Michael F. Barrett, Esq.

PHILADELPHIA, July 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is by Michael F. Barrett, Esq.:

"Kill all the lawyers" -- at your own peril

When you heard the news not long ago that three prominent attorneys who had made their reputations suing corporations had pled guilty to either attempted judicial bribery or a kickback scheme, no doubt Shakespeare's oft-quoted line, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers," came to mind.

But what you probably don't realize is that the line, taken in its dramatic context, really means that if you want anarchy you must first get rid of lawyers.

Indeed, while it has become fashionable in some corporate and political quarters to demonize trial lawyers, your medicine cabinet, your house, your car, your highways, your workplace and the world in which you live are far safer today because of the efforts of trial lawyers to hold businesses and governments responsible and accountable for their actions. Trial lawyers, says attorney and former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, are our last defense against greedy corporations.

Don't believe him? Do you remember flammable children's pajamas? Deadly cribs? Asbestos? Even Little League and Pop Warner Football games before helmets were required. They have all disappeared, or been vastly improved, thanks to civil lawsuits.

Unfortunately, however, today's legal and political climate is edging us closer towards the anarchy to which Shakespeare cleverly alluded. In March the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the makers of medical devices who have received FDA approval are protected from lawsuits, no matter what goes wrong with their devices. It now appears the same "pre-emption" protection will soon be afforded drug makers -- the same drug manufacturers who supply the studies on which the FDA bases its decisions. These are the same drug makers who often drag their feet in reporting adverse results and in pulling dangerous drugs off the market.

Do you believe that the understaffed and overwhelmed FDA, which until recently believed lawsuits were an essential additional safety check, should be the sole judge of whether foods, drugs and medical devices are safe for you?

Tell that to the more than 3,000 women and their families who have sued Johnson & Johnson alleging that its Ortho Evra birth-control patch had caused heart attacks, strokes and even death. Rather than delivering less estrogen than a standard daily birth control pill, as the FDA-approved label indicated, the patch actually delivered more and increased the risk of blood clots. Johnson & Johnson, based on its own studies, knew that -- but delayed telling the FDA and the public.

Or tell the hundreds mostly dialysis patients who suffered allergic reactions, including several who died, after taking an apparently tainted blood thinner, heparin. The manufacturer withdrew the drug earlier this year after questions arose about its Chinese supplier -- which apparently had never been inspected by the FDA.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, tort reform -- including proposals to place caps on non-medical damages -- continues to be a popular topic. But, with lawsuits against Pennsylvania doctors declining 38 percent between 2003 and 2006, the medical malpractice crisis in Pennsylvania is over in Gov. Rendell's view. One reason for the decline: a certificate of merit requirement that prevents malpractice lawsuits from proceeding unless a licensed doctor signs off on the validity of the claim. Nonetheless, even though the Institute on Medicine says nearly 100,000 die as a result of medical mistakes each year, hospitals are lobbying to completely shield their doctors from lawsuits.

Trial lawyers strongly endorse legislation that quashes frivolous lawsuits. But if you believe that legitimate litigation plays a crucial role in protecting patients and consumers, let your state and federal legislators know you are opposed to pre-empting litigation rights and capping non-economic damages.

Michael F. Barrett, Esq., Managing Shareholder of Salt Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, P.C., is the newly-elected President of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, a non-profit advocacy organization.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky P.C.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New clinical trial for patients with asbestos-associated lung cancer
2. Austin Company Makes a Splash at U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials
3. Blood Substitute Found Safe in Large Phase III Trial
4. The Montreal Heart Institute presents findings on congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation
5. Evalve MitraClip: Clinical trial of nonsurgical repair for severe mitral valve regurgitation
6. Molecular insight begins Trofex Phase 1 trial for detection of metastatic prostate cancer
7. New insight into RA patient priorities and motivators for clinical trial involvement
8. Molecular insight begins Trofex Ph. 1 trial for detection of metastatic prostate cancer
9. Industrial Control Repair Named Honda of America Manufacturings 2007 Supplier of the Year
10. Organizers of cancer clinical trials are neglecting teenagers and young adults
11. Bradmer receives FDA approval to proceed with Phase III clinical trial
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... The Woodlands at ... offering a new model of care for living and healing, celebrated its grand opening, ... Life in a Real Home provided by Empowered Staff. , “This is an incredibly ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Warner, New Hampshire (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... of which are designed, engineered, and manufactured in Warner, New Hampshire at the MadgeTech ... known to provide reliable monitoring solutions trusted by government agencies, including NASA. , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... SURPRISE, ARIZ. (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... worry of American families. , The 550 employees of Sun Health Senior Living ... plan through Aetna that reduces their doctor and prescription copays for the year, while ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Leadership of Life Science Logistics ... organization has earned its ISO 13485 certification, indicating the company’s quality control system ... and policies associated with ISO quality standard 13485. , BSI Group America, ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... North Cypress Medical Center hosted ... Club in Cypress. With the help of community partners, the event organizers raised $45,000 ... hope for wounded service members and their families through health, wellness, and therapeutic support. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016   ... beide primären Endpunkte und demonstriert Ebenbürtigkeit ... ‚ausgezeichneter plus guter , ... ,      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130829/633895-a ... neue positive Daten von der MORA-Studie der Phase ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... New Zealand , May 24, 2016 ... and informatics solutions for the healthcare sector, has been named ... New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards 2016. Dr Bruce ... fantastic acknowledgement for our team.  It,s really good to be ... burden healthcare internationally. Our products are used in 35 countries ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... VMS BioMarketing as senior vice president of sales, announced Andrea Heslin Smiley , ... the company,s business development and sales team, exploring new opportunities for VMS to empower ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: