New Intimidation Tactic

A website has been launched that will help doctors and the public identify patients and lawyers who filed medical malpractice cases.

Here is a nice summary: "The LitiPages.com Attorney Database allows victims of medical malpractice to screen prospective attorneys and, if they so choose, avoid lawyers who consistently fail to obtain jury verdicts for their clients. The LitiPages.com Patient Database allows physicians to identify individuals who have demonstrated unrealistic expectations of the health care system through their participation in a medical malpractice lawsuit whose merit was not supported by a jury verdict. Finally, LitiPages.com also provides informational resources to patients who have been the victims of legal malpractice. "

Why is the site necessary?  "A physician may feel that a patient who has filed a medical malpractice suit and lost a trial before a jury of their peers harbours unrealistic expectations of their physician and probably of the health care system at large. In the same way, a physician may feel that a patient who files a medical malpractice case only to later withdraw it (or have it dismissed) likewise must have held unrealistic expectations of their physician. The patient who files "shotgun" lawsuits against every doctor listed in their chart when only one (if any) of those doctors was negligent may be perceived by a physician to be out of touch with medical reality. Accordingly, a responsible physician who feels that a patient’s behaviour demonstrates unrealistic medical expectations has both a right (and arguably a responsibility) to refuse elective care to that patient. The attorneys who counseled such patients and filed their cases must subscribe to similarly unrealistic expectations of physicians and of the health care system in general. Appropriately, a physician who feels that an attorney’s behaviour demonstrates unrealistic medical expectations has the right to refuse elective care to such an individual."

The site also gives information on how to sue expert witnesses.

The site pushes people to sue attorneys for "lack of informed consent" by setting forth a standard of care for lawyers that is news to me: "Prior to filing your medical malpractice lawsuit, your attorney should have counseled you regarding the pros and cons of filing your suit. Your attorney should have explained to you that information relating to your case would become a matter of public record and that the public would have the unrestricted right to view it. This should have been summarized for you in a written document called an "informed consent" which you should have been required to sign. If your attorney proceeded with a lawsuit without warning you of the risks involved, you may be the victim of Legal Malpractice and may be entitled to compensation."

The databases will not be open until July 2007.  Apparently the site will gather information on Florida plaintiffs and plaintiff’s attorneys.

Thanks to Matt at Abstract Appeal for telling me about the site.