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'They Can Sue, But They Can't Hide'

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the all-out-in-the-open dept.

The Internet 1212

An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times (free reg's yada, yada) has this article about Texas doctors running an online blacklist of patients who have sued. The searchable database is at doctorsknow.us. Nice to know that you can get blacklisted for suing the doctor that caused massive brain damage to your kid (and winning)." To add a plaintiff to the database, membership was not always required.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Difficult? (4, Interesting)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494193)

Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode called "The Package," when Elaine keeps getting the shaft at the doctor's office after being labeled as "difficult."

Imagine how you'll be treated when your chart has you labeled as "malpractice lawsuit plaintiff." The doctor won't even come into the room.

Re:Difficult? (5, Insightful)

jkabbe (631234) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494258)

Imagine how you'll be treated when your chart has you labeled as "malpractice lawsuit plaintiff." The doctor won't even come into the room.

Think that's bad? Imagine how you would be treated as a lawyer! Once they find out you're a lawyer many doctors will run ten times as many tests as they otherwise would. It pays to keep your mouth shut (or even lie) about your profession.

even better.... (5, Interesting)

ecalkin (468811) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494338)

i have heard of cases where ob/gyns would not accept patients that were lawyers that has pursued malpractice actions. while it was interesting to hear women lawyers bitch about having to leave their county to find a doctor, it was *more* interesting to find out how many people felt no sorrow for them.

eric

Re:Difficult? (5, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494346)

In all seriousness lawyers have lots of problems with renting and buying property.

Owners are afraid of being sued.

3 out of my 4 last apartments I lived at had a clause I had to sign making sure I am not a lawyer and that I would not sue them, etc.

This is a big problem in larger cities like New York, LA, and San Fransisco where there are more potential tenents then apartments or homes available. These are where the tenants and owners can weed lawyers out.

If you owned a place would you rent to a lawyer? I surely would not.

Re:Difficult? (4, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494357)

Think that's bad? Imagine how you would be treated as a lawyer! Once they find out you're a lawyer many doctors will run ten times as many tests as they otherwise would. It pays to keep your mouth shut (or even lie) about your profession.

Um, good? In other words, doctors will exercise more diligence and generally do things to avoid getting sued, namely screwing up. I think I'll tell them all I'm a lawyer, thanks for the good idea!

Re:Difficult? (5, Funny)

Cosmik (730707) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494277)

Speaking about Seinfeld and doctors, I'll take a vet over an MD any day. I already go to the vet to get checked up. I find it's cheaper, the queue is shorter, and I get my coat brushed to a glossy shine after every visit.

Re:Difficult? (5, Funny)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494332)

Doctors are just vets who flunked out of vet school - could only handle one species.

Then don't file frivolous malpractice lawsuits. (5, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494279)

Come on, how stupid are people? If you and your ambulance-chaser treat doctors' insurers as your own private ATM, why be surprised when there is some accountability?

Lawsuits are, and have always been, a matter of public record. Perhaps people who abuse the system should consider this fact.

Sorry, no sympathy for those on the blacklist.

Re:Then don't file frivolous malpractice lawsuits. (5, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494301)

The Doctors records of misconduct and related board actions are private. Doctors want this info on others, but they do not want others to have the same level of detail on them.

Re:Then don't file frivolous malpractice lawsuits. (5, Insightful)

JCMay (158033) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494345)

The Doctors records of misconduct and related board actions are private. Doctors want this info on others, but they do not want others to have the same level of detail on them.


No, the previous post said that lawsuits are matters of public record. If a doctor is sued, no matter what the outcome, anyone can go down to the courthouse and view the transcript.

Now, if you're saying that it's not fair that there's no web-searchable list of doctors that have had malpractise suits brought against them, why don't you start one?

Re:Then don't file frivolous malpractice lawsuits. (5, Insightful)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494308)

And if the lawsuit isn't frivolous? Should you refrain from suing an incompetant doctor because if you do you won't be able to get health care in the future?

Re:Then don't file frivolous malpractice lawsuits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494323)

Would you really want to go to a doctor that's so unethical he refuses to take patients who have had legitimate grievances with other doctors?

Re:Then don't file frivolous malpractice lawsuits. (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494355)

And if you can't find an "ethical" doctor?

dang (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494207)

damnit i wanted first post

The NYT is pimping their site AGAIN? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494208)

Please submit your summaries with a valid Slashdot id and a valid NYT email address, and try not to hide. We know who you have financial interest in the NYT. You can stop astroturfing now.

Beat them at their own game (4, Insightful)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494210)

Perhaps someone could start a blacklist of doctors who have posted to this blacklist. Or, just check this list before selecting a physician.

Re:Beat them at their own game (3, Funny)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494285)

Then we could start a blacklist of people who are posting blacklists of doctors with blacklists. Then and only then will we know if their blacklists are legitimate.

Re:Beat them at their own game (4, Insightful)

rlthomps-1 (545290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494313)

believe me, if you lose a malpractice lawsuit, you are gonna lose a lot of business. come on, is the concept of frivolous law suits so much of a stretch to apply to the medical world?

doc's pay a ton in malpractice insurance and losing one of these cases is desastating. There are tons of patients that show up with a law suit on their minds because they

a) are just that type of person
or
b) they can't pay for the service and are looking for a way to cover their bills (believe me, this happens).

just like anyone else doing business in this world, doctors have to protect themselves.

Re:Beat them at their own game (4, Insightful)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494316)

Perhaps someone could get the ridiculous malpractice claims under control and spend a little more time critically evaluating the situation when one comes up?

Things like this exist because jobless wonders with no skills and no future see an easy out and sue the doctor for some assinine bullshit, then ignorant juries award this sinister behavior when crooked lawyers trump things up around the "poor, suffering victim". If you didn't have as many assholes out there pulling bullshit cases and getting exhorbitant "awards", the people with legitimate claims wouldn't be more than an afterthought to professionals who know what they're doing.

It's just another example of how the "legal" profession makes its money by ruining everyone else. Legalized thugs.

Re:Beat them at their own game (4, Informative)

Gyan (6853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494360)

If you're a patient, check ChoiceTrust [choicetrust.com] .

On the other hand... (5, Insightful)

rasafras (637995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494213)

I personally know a few doctors, and malpractice lawsuits have gotten out of hand. Insurance for doctors has skyrocketed to an incredible rate. Somehow there must be a balance between the two - let them sue, but not too much?

Doctors are rich! who cares? (-1, Troll)

Adolph_Hitler (713286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494261)

If you have the money to become a doctor, and you are making money as a doctor, you have more than enough money for this. If you are this damn greedy and care this much about money perhaps you should become a trial lawyer or some other job besides doctor, because being a doctor is like being a teacher and you do these jobs because you want to help people. Remember?

Re:On the other hand... (3, Interesting)

Kazymyr (190114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494311)

Hear, hear! If you want to point a finger, point it towards ambulance chasers. They cause insurance rates to skyrocket, followed directly by the cost of healthcare, and you end up with such defense reactions. Sure it's not perfect, because it's the first time someone thought of it; but how good were the spam filters when they first appeared?

I for one am for it. Flame away!

Re:On the other hand... (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494354)

If you want to point a finger, point it towards ambulance chasers. They cause insurance rates to skyrocket, followed directly by the cost of healthcare, and you end up with such defense reactions.

Followed by the cost of everyone's health insurance - that's why it goes up by 10-20% per year.

Puh-lease (5, Insightful)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494215)

Oh come on, can we leave the editorials out of the submissions?

IN real life, there ARE patients who wind up sueing every doctor in town. There are patients who try to scam painkillers off of doctors, there are patients who try to forge perscriptions for Morphine at pharmacies.

Yes, some patients do have real legitimate cases, but if they wind up sueing more than 2 doctors, do you want to take them in as your patient? Why don't you pay thousands a month in malpractice insurance, and let me know what you will do. (No, I'm not a doctor, they're just in my family).

This all depends on the doctor. I'm sure he'll call up his friend Dr. Phil and ask why the lady was sueing him. If she was stepping on every word he said in his own office, then I'm sure the doctor won't take the case, as is his prerogative. You can't sue for abandonment if the doctor won't even take your case. Besides, the lawsuit record has been availible for some time, I could go online and search the plaintiff lists to see if my neighbor sued anyone recently. So can landlords and the rest of the world.

You can't see the same info about them... (5, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494281)

If doctors think this is a good idea why are they so opposed to keeping their own legal/discipline records away from the public?

Re:You can't see the same info about them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494356)

If doctors think this is a good idea why are they so opposed to keeping their own legal/discipline records away from the public?

Well one reason might be that a bunch of assholes and their shysters have filed false malpractice suits against you. Another might be that your insurance company decided it'd simply be cheaper to pay them off rather than rack up exorbitant court costs and lawyer fees.

My knee-jerk reaction... (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494216)

...it's a bad and dangerous thing... an inhumane thing!

Then again, in this litigious country, we all need to find ways to protect ourselves... there are probably very good doctors out there who just want to keep their jobs.

Kill the lawyers and the problem goes away.

Re:My knee-jerk reaction... (4, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494336)

Kill the lawyers and the problem goes away.

And they lived happily ever after..

Truth is, while there are scum lawyers, there are also lawyers protecting our rights, EFF and every other non-profit group has lawyers.

I'd rather see some reform, but can you imagine the lawyers on that aspect.

Don't like your noisy neighbor? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494217)

Time to check out if you still need to register.

This is US, kiddo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494218)

The doctors have a right to refuse you service without giving any reason whatsoever. Except the emergency staff in the hospitals, they have to help you no matter what.

Besides, information wants to be free and available. So someone collects a list of notorious spammers == good, someone collects a list of litigious bastards [mandrake.com] == doubleplusungood?

If you don't like it, move to Russia, I heard they have free medical care there. Which probably explains why so many of them emigrate to the US when opportunity arises.

Re:This is US, kiddo (2, Insightful)

pickup22 (673933) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494319)

As a Canadian I can't even imagine not getting "free" medical care. It's nice not having to worry about that at least. Sure service may not be as fast as in the US but I suspect that has to do more with population density.

Re:This is US, kiddo (2, Insightful)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494353)

As an American I can't imagine giving my government half of my income. Sure you may have free health care, but I suspect that has more to do with high taxes.

It works both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494221)

It works both ways. There are also patients who love to file frivolous lawsuits repeatedly.

I can only see this as a good thing. (2, Insightful)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494225)

If a doctor screws up, they pay the price. If a doctor won't serve you because you've sued someone in the past for malpractice (and won), what does that say about the doctor?

Although this is slightly irrelevent, my grandmother was given bad medication from a doctor that conflicted with her other medication. She was in the hostipal for quite awhile and is still recovering. We didn't sue because apparently we wouldn't get anything out of it, because she's on Medicaid or medicare or whatever. I don't know what action my mom is taking, or if he's right about the lawsuit deal, but eh.

This is a good thing for patients. If a doctor needs to check if you've had a record dealing with bad doctors, then he probably sucks (and knows it) too.

Re:I can only see this as a good thing. (1)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494246)

*he = she, my mom is not a transgender.

i give doctors a little credit (3, Insightful)

harks (534599) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494227)

I would think that most doctors would realize there are situations where a malpractice suit is warranted and necessary.

This is absurd (5, Insightful)

dartmouth05 (540493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494229)

This database is very infuriating, especially given the many states where official reprimands of doctors are not made public.

Two weeks ago, the MA legislature passed a bill called Taylor's Law, that orginally called for putting reprimands of doctors online. The doctor lobby got that provision shot down, arguing that it might stop doctors from freely talking to the board.

If patients in MA can't find out who the problem doctors are, I don't see why doctors should be able to see the names of patients who sued.

Furthermore, membership should definitely be required to add people to the list, otherwise, any quack who gets justifiably sued can easily add his or her patients to the list out of spite.

Re:This is absurd (4, Insightful)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494291)

well there is nothing stopping plaintiffs from putting up a list of doctors they have sued. of course to take the moral high ground you are going to have to release your complaint information so that people can make an informed decision.

Better Than Ordinary People (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494326)

If patients in MA can't find out who the problem doctors are, I don't see why doctors should be able to see the names of patients who sued.

Because doctors are better than ordinary people.

That's the theory, anyway.

-kgj

Re:This is absurd (1)

CoolVC (131998) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494351)


If patients in MA can't find out who the problem doctors are, I don't see why doctors should be able to see the names of patients who sued.


I'm sure there is enough publicly available information to compile a similar web site about problem doctors for patients to see. It doesn't take a law to release private information to get this done. All it takes is a few people to start a web site and start collecting information about doctors. It's all about freedom of speech

this is PERFECTLY OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494362)

If people of MA (or any other state) decided to put together a website and log complaints (not even just lawsuits against) their doctors, it would be perfectly within the first amendment and I think we all would be the better for it.

This is no different from where people gather on Amazon.com or slashdot.org or anywhere else to share imformation/experiences and bring ideas together. If you're afraid of a society where people are informed, then maybe you should live elsewhere [chinaonline.com] .

tort reform (0, Troll)

ender's_shadow (302302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494230)

Imagine what happens when insurance co.s start to use this list. Republicans will probably sanction this anti-consumer behavior, given their track history w/ respect to tort reform.

They run linux so they must be good! (-1, Offtopic)

bear_phillips (165929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494232)

According to netcraft [netcraft.com]

The site www.doctorsknow.us is running Apache/1.3.29 (Debian GNU/Linux) PHP/4.3.3 on Linux.

For some reason thought these guys were sure to be running Microsoft products. Guess I have too much of the slashdot bias.

Re:They run linux so they must be good! (1)

crossconnects (140996) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494303)

linux based load balancer on the front end?

Simple answer... (2, Interesting)

bobthemuse (574400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494233)

Create a free public online database of doctors who have been sued and the reasons why. I know there are dbs out there with info on docs, but it's generally very limited, I assume for fear of lawsuit :-)

Sounds reasonable to me (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494234)

There are a lot of wacko sue crazy people out there and doctors are a prime target for idiots to sue. If I were them I'd blacklist sue crazy people too. I dont think you should be blacklisted for being in the list once but 3-4 times starts to look fishy.

2 sides to every story (5, Insightful)

-=[Dr. AJAX]=- (17537) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494235)

The problem is that both sides have bad apples. Sure you have some bad doctors that really shouldn't be practicing. But you also have some people who want easy money from malpractice insurance companies who are most likely to settle that to fight it out in court. The idea of lawsuits as a source of incoming isn't patented by SCO as yet.

Whats the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494236)

This is a good thing. It creates a market for doctors who actually care about their patients and have confidence in their practice.

New York Times Complaint (-1, Redundant)

Professor Cool Linux (759581) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494237)

Why don't we all share one (or two) reg. on their site...
or even just make a google link to the article the default method...

Re:New York Times Complaint (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494288)

That won't happen because it's the NYT who writes and submits practically all of the stories that link to their website.

I don't blame the doctors (3, Insightful)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494239)

Do you know how much doctors get screwed? People sue doctors for the most minor things. Hey. Just because everything didn't work out the way you want doesn't mean the doctor made a mistake. He diagosed you wrong? That happens. Get over it.

Doctors are easy targets. They have money and there is no penalty for sueing them and failing because it's hard as hell to prove a patient is just taking pot shots. I'm glad to see that doctors now have recompense against people who are just trying for a quick buck.

Re:I don't blame the doctors (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494318)

If open sharing of information is such a good thing, why do the Doctors fight any law that would require their med boards records to be publicly available?

Re:I don't blame the doctors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494342)

Get over it, eh? What if it's brain cancer? Hard to get over that, now isn't it?

I can't believe there's people as ignorant as you that actually manage to learn to write.

ha! (1)

nunofgs (636910) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494241)

First thing I read on their website was 'This is not a blacklist!'. Think they noticed the extra traffic?

Lawyers (5, Insightful)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494242)

So basically both the patients and the doctor get screwed and the lawyers come out on top.

The lawyers will stop this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494243)

Think about it. A website that aims to *decrease the number of lawsuits*.

They'll find it shows 'intimidation' or something.

This comes against a background of spiraling malpractice insurance costs; supposedly you can't find an OB/GYN in some parts of the country anymore.
Even the lefty types in my med school thought this was a nifty idea.

Who caused what to whom...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494244)

Your article guiltlessly assumes that doctors being sued by people are all guilty. Is there a time or place where the liberal minded _aren't_ victims?

All I can say is, that if you think you can do better, then avoid the Doctor's office altogether the next time you have a herpes flair-up ... idiot.

-- z3d

To Quote Grand Theft Auto Radio (1)

dicepackage (526497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494245)

"You can sue anyone, for anything, and you'll probably win."

McDonald's Coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494247)

In a world where a lady can spill hot coffee on herself win a frivolous lawsuit against people who didn't even spill the coffee, such a list is necessary. At least until there is tort reform and such cases are barred from the courtroom.

(Read the facts before trolling:

the lady spilled the coffee, McDonald's did not

The coffee was safe: billions of cups sold with only 700 having burn problems.)

Re:McDonald's Coffee (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494317)

Are you in favor of automobile makers deciding that it would be cheaper to make settlements/pay death/injury lawsuits, than to repair the defective part known to injure people? Because that's essentially what McDonald's was doing.

It doesn't matter if she spilled the coffee. It's reasonable to expect that spilling coffee won't result in first degree burns to your groin, requiring tens of thousands of dollars of surgery.

The size of the settlement (later reduced in appeal) was the amount that McDonald's saved by continuing with a policy that seriously injured people. This was to make sure the corporation doesn't financially benefit from a policy of injuring customers for financial gain. It's the method courts have used to attempt American car companies from doing the same thing.

Re:McDonald's Coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494339)

Are you in favor of automobile makers deciding that it would be cheaper to make settlements/pay death/injury lawsuits, than to repair the defective part known to injure people? Because that's essentially what McDonald's was doing.

The only way you can serve coffee that injurez zero out of n billion customers, is by serving it ice-cold.

Are you in favor of that? If so, I don't think I want to live in your world.

McFacts (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494352)

"Are you in favor of automobile makers deciding that it would be cheaper to make settlements/pay death/injury lawsuits, than to repair the defective part known to injure people?"

McDonald's did nothing of the sort. They were selling nice hot coffee. Only people who did something stupid with it got hurt, and these were very few. It was not a case of "the rare BAD cup that McDonald's sold and covered up". The coffee the lady spilled was the same coffee at the same temperature that millions had consumed with no incident.

"It doesn't matter if she spilled the coffee"

Yes it does, unless you want a frivolous lawsuit. The incident was of her making,

"It's reasonable to expect that spilling coffee won't result in first degree burns to your groin, requiring tens of thousands of dollars of surgery."

Actually, at the recommended serving temperature, it WILL burn you if you do something idiotic like pour it in your groin. You can also blind yourself with a McDonald's plastic fork!

"The size of the settlement (later reduced in appeal) was the amount that McDonald's saved by continuing with a policy that seriously injured people"

It should have been reduced to 0, since McDonald's did nothing wrong. In fact, when the suit forced them to serve coffee that was too cold, the complaints soared.

"It's the method courts have used to attempt American car companies from doing the same thing."

Again, an inapplicable example.

Re:McDonald's Coffee (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494328)

Look what you've done. You've reignited the Slashdot McDonald's hot coffee debate. I hate you. Somebody please mod this entire thread Redundant and/or Flamebait.

Re:McDonald's Coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494340)

McDonalds were found 80% liable - they held the coffee at a temperature between 180 and 190 Fahrenheit. This compares to coffee being made at home at 135 to 140 Fahrenheit. At the temperature McDonalds were serving the coffee, it would cause immediate burning of the throat and mouth.
Source: McDonalds Coffee Case" [lectlaw.com]

Plaintiffs' expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus, if Liebeck's spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn.

Hrmm... Could Be Positive (2, Insightful)

WebMasterP (642061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494248)

The post puts a negative spin on the issue, and I CAN CLEARLY see why.

However, the system might be good for finding repeat suers, which could bring down the cost of malpractice insurance and possibly lower the cost of insurance, therefore helping a great many people. That's not to say that would necessarily happen. But if insurance market (which I know little about) was competitive (price driven), it might work out for the better.

still, I'd hate so see someone get hurt because their doctor wouldn't help them because a previous doctor took the wrong leg off.

Way to break the American medical system... (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494249)

Doctors might be able to turn away patients, but emergency rooms sure can't. So, in the end, somebody's going to have to try to treat these "blacklisted" people...

And people who go to the ER for something a PCP should be taking care of just drive up expenses and costs for everybody...

Re:Way to break the American medical system... (2, Interesting)

deego (587575) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494289)

> Doctors might be able to turn away patients, but emergency rooms sure can't. So, in the end, somebody's going to have to try to treat these "blacklisted" people...

Yeah, and the bill you will be get for a simple visit to the ER will thousands of dollars. In addition, expect multiple overinflated bills from X-ray, ambulance service, everything else you used..

(Although, If you are covered by insurance, neither you nor the insurance pays that much -- you pay the $100 copay, and the insurance pays another few hundred dollars. The rest is "writeoff" that was pre-arranged by the insurance company with virtually ever doctor/ER in the area/country..)

Patient identifier (2, Interesting)

bobthemuse (574400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494252)

I wonder what they use to uniquely identify patients? I mean, going by name isn't very useful, unless you know that previous addresses of your new patients.

Most charts include your social security number, is it legal for them to use this, or do they have another way?

/me is too lazy to try to sign up for free trial.

Extorsion? (2, Insightful)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494256)

I'm against frivolous lawsuits like everyone else, but this is like extortion. Imagine a patient is wronged by an incompetent doctor, and they sue for damages. Other doctors are basically saying that this patient likely will never get care again?

Texas already passed Proposition 12 [texascivil...roject.org] last year capping jury awards for non-economic damages in malpractice cases to $250,000. So parents whose children have the misfortune of needing expensive medical care must be even more wary.

I guess these Texas doctors are saying, "Oh, you'll pay a pretty penny for care. But don't even think about holding our professional accountable for incompetence."

If these doctors believe there's nothing wrong with this list, I'd like to see a list of doctors who are members of that organization.

non-economic (5, Insightful)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494296)

Do you know what that part means?
if malpractice is real, the lifetime 'costs' of taking care of the incident is covered, plus a maximum of 250k for pain and suffering..

Frivolous lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494309)

"So parents whose children have the misfortune of needing expensive medical care must be even more wary."

Especially the idiots who file and WIN lawsuits against the OB-GYNs who deliver their babies and it turns out that the babies have genetic defects. Yes! it is the doctor's fault!

Bad checks on the wall..... (5, Insightful)

nebenfun (530284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494257)

This kinda of reminds me of going into a store and seeing people's bad checks on the wall....

People sue at the drop of the hat nowadays....and the lawyers are waiting in the shadows.

A person will NOT be denied life threatening health care...
but what if someone with a history of lawsuits(frivilous or not) wants high risk surgery from you? Would you be willing to bet your career and finanicial well being on them?

Information is freedom, right?

USA Today? (1)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494259)

Is slashdot turning into USA Today or something. What's so nerdy about a dumb website?

If only PROGRAMMERS were this clever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494260)

Think about it. A site that lists every company that has shipped its jobs to India.

You got to hand it to the docs: they know how to band together to protect their interests. I wish coders could do the same.

I'd patronize those companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494278)

Think about it. A site that lists every company that has shipped its jobs to India

That would tell me who to give my business to. There is nothing wrong with hiring better workers even if they are those ..... Indians.

CNN is doing such a list on the "Lou Dobbs" show, with a nice racist undertone to it.

Best jobs to the best worker..... regardless of race.

Re:I'd patronize those companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494343)

Nice troll, you Indian assrapist!

Re:If only PROGRAMMERS were this clever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494287)

A site that lists every company that has shipped its jobs to India.

Ever heard of Fortune 1000?

Who are the users? (1)

powerpuffgirls (758362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494267)

It's all very nice to have this database and that database, but who is going to search about these 'trouble-making' patients? I can imagine George Clooney comes back to E.R. and before fixing up a patient, he checks this database first.

Oh.. while we're at it, maybe some psychiatrists can use this database to get more patients if you know what I mean.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494268)

This is a great idea. I've spoken to many health care workers who complain about relatives watching their every move and then going to a lawyer. Frivolous lawsuits are the reason health care is expensive and health insurance is a benefit in the US.

GOP pushes malpractice caps, election agenda [washtimes.com]

The GOP bill is supported by a host of physicians groups, including the American Medical Association, which has long been a proponent of limiting malpractice damages across all medical specialties.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, malpractice insurance premiums for obstetricians and gynecologists increased 22 percent nationally between 2000 and 2002. While there has been an increase in lawsuit filings, this has not necessarily translated in findings against physicians.

Healthcare policy experts say that doctors are more likely to settle cases these days because the risks are smaller than when going into open court. For malpractice insurers, settlement provides a way to more readily predict final costs.

not all cases are clear cut (2, Insightful)

rlthomps-1 (545290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494269)

pardon the pun

not all cases are black and white, and there are definitly some patients who are more likely to sue than others (especially those who have sued before). Malpractice insurance is so expensive these days, losing a suit like this can get your coverage yanked effectively putting you out of business. While no doctor wants to sit there and screen patients based on the likelyhood of them suing, it is a reality that is part of the medical world today.

Yeah it sounds horrible in the case where the doctor really f'd up, but tons of malpractice cases are bullshit and really put a strain on the doctor's ability to do business.

If I was a doctor (in a non-emergency case), hell yeah I'd want to know if a patient has sued before and under what circumstances because this is about protecting my livelihood.

Still better than Poland. (4, Interesting)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494275)

The expert whose decision in a lawsuit is most important is a doctor.
For several thousands of lawsuits, less than 10 were won by the patienst.
People with sponges, scissors, pieces of bandaid left in their bodies during a surgery lost. People whose relatives died because the doctor administered a drug that works opposite to what was obviously required, lost. Doctors found drunk on duty were claimed innocent.
Be happy that you can win at all.

And what about lawyers... (4, Funny)

SmackCrackandPot (641205) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494276)

There was a story some time back about a new housing development that was built, but had the restriction that no lawyers were allowed to buy any of the homes. The construction company feared that they would be sued if anything was wrong with any of the homes. This restriction was only discovered when a lawyer attempted to buy one of the homes. So he sued the company for discrimination.

Maybe they should sue programmers... (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494283)


For programs that do not work.

I think I should be able to sue the provider of any software package for any economic harm caused by it.

Geez, I could sue every Linux Developer, every Windows developer, and I could probably get a few hundred bucks out of each.

Oh, suddenly this seems unfair?

Maybe Doctors are just looking for some balance in litigation?

Good (1)

ChopsMIDI (613634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494284)

1. Patient Sues Doctor
2. Doctor's Malpractice Insurance Rises
3. Doctor Charges more to make up for increased Cost of Operation
4. Health Insurance costs rise to cover increased health care costs.
5. Go to step 1 until no one can afford health care any more.
6. Everyone dies.

I'd say this is pretty damn obvious. If I was a doctor, I want to damn well know if my patient was a litigous bastard.

Bad (1)

Josh Booth (588074) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494359)

1. Patient sues doctor for _real_ malpractice
2. Doctor puts him on blacklist
3. Patient can't get decent medical assistance
4. Patient goes to emergency room at great cost to insurance company.
5. Health Insurance costs rise to cover increased health care costs.
6. Go to step 1 until no one can afford health care any more.
7. Everyone dies.

How about we just kill all the lawyers? Every once in a while, you just have to start over.

Google Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494290)

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/05/national/05DOCT. html?ex=1079067600&en=119eb8c6c6b489a0&ei=5062&par tner=GOOGLE

.

You insensit1ve c7od! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494292)

she had no fear of the old going In addition, the public eye: subscribers. Please disaapearing up its mys3lf. This isn't about a project is also a miserable

Who's to blame? (4, Insightful)

russianspy (523929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494293)

Although I acknowledge that there are good reasons for suing a doctor, most of them are not. Doctors are human, they're doing the best they can.

If a treatment has a 80% chance of working, and 5% chance of killing you is it a mistake to recommend it? What if you'd die anyways, just 5 years down the road? You'd have 80% chance at life. I think most of us would agree that it's not a mistake to try it. If a patient dies because of that treatment - was it a mistake? I could see only one problem - that's if/when the doctor did not explain the odds/risks.
I see way too many people suing because they need to be protected from themselves.

Niggers... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8494297)

...just feasted on my junk liberally.

out of control (2, Insightful)

towzzer (733077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494302)

The situation is not a patient suing a doctor. It is patients who sue for 6 million because someone made a mistake , do some doctors commit malcious behavoir or willful neglicence. People make mistakes and because of this apprently a person needs 10million dollars to make it better. Malpractice insurance is out of control , it keeps all medical costs up and makes it harder for real people with real problems to get treatment. I don't think they would have created this website if the majority of lawsuits were either not exaggerated or under false pretenses.

about time. (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494304)

I think it is about time somethign like this happened. Alot of doctors are going without malpractice insurance to save money and lower costs to the patient. Something like this will help them achive this goal.

I wouldn't want to have a law suite happy client either. In all reality the people that sue thier doctors (or anynone for that matter) are usually looking for a cashcow. If they only were allowed to recover expenses incured because of the malpractrice/whatever then there would be alot less law suites going on.

Geting an extra 5 mil becuase something went wrong and they lost a patient or an arm or somethign doesn't really help anyone. It serves no purpose other than to enrich the plantif and cause the prices of medical proceedures to skyrocket. People think there is money availible and they want it.

What's public domain? (1)

dfung (68701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494306)

When I read this, an interesting question popped up in my mind - there's an implication that you might end up in this database if you sued for malpractice and won.

Actually, I suspect that the public record would reflect if you brought suit against a doctor and *lost*, too.

A)If this database becomes something that doctors or insurance companies really use, then I doubt that they would draw much distinction between winning or losing a case. B) Even if the database was only for patients that prevailed against doctors, I wonder how clean the data would really stay. And fixing your history on this baby must really be a nightmare (as if fixing Experian or one of the other credit companies isn't bad enough).

This could be an efficient solution... (2, Interesting)

Roached (84015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494327)

...to rising health care costs, which result from the overabundance of law suits. Only the seriously injured people sue. I can certainly feel for the legitimately injured being put on this list, but if their case had merit, it shouldn't make good doctors afraid to deal with them.

interesting (1)

nursedave (634801) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494331)

I can't help but notice that every single person who has posted anything remotely supporting the doc's in this situation has been modded down. Nice, slashholes.

Talk about Misleading (1)

cagle_.25 (715952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494341)

The lead-in to this story is bizzare. Go to the website yourself. In BIG BOLD LETTERS it says
NATIONAL PLAINTIFF DATABASE. THIS IS NOT A BLACKLIST. MANY PATIENTS HAVE MERITORIOUS CASES.
And in order to list someone, you Have to be a Member. Editors, are you checking your sources?

Malpractice Insurance (2, Insightful)

rho (6063) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494344)

The cost of malpractice insurance is incredible. A close relation pays something on the order of $50K/year in insurance; this in a rural, close-knit community in a low-risk practice (as compared to, say, pediatrics).

This isn't "anti-consumer" behavior, it's defensive medicine. A doctor that doesn't practice because he's sick of being sued every other week for bogus cases isn't doing anybody any good.

I wonder if all the "programmers" who rail on Slashdot would be willing to take responsibility for every bug they write? To the extent that they have to buy liability insurance in case somebody uses their shitty program to do something important? No, of course not--that's why all those licenses for "Open Source" half-assed hacks are littered with "Yeah, I wrote this, but if you use it for something important, IT'S NOT MY FAULT, NUH-UH, I'M JUST A FAT SLOB PROGRAMMER, FNORD! *snort snort*" But you'll moan about doctors that can (and do) make mistakes. Yeah, consistency sure is an overrated attribute.

This is what the internet is for! (4, Insightful)

werdna (39029) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494348)

Doctors and patients both have an interest in knowing about the litigation history of their counterparts. A patient complains of poor medical treatment, sues, settles and moves on to another part of the country, to deal with another doctor and another insurance company. While many patients have legitimate gripes, I for one can attest from personal experience that others are not.

Sometimes you can find out by discovery the patient's prior litigation history, and other times they lie. The bad ones, unsurprisingly, lie. Extensive investigation can disclose the lie, which pretty much nails the case, but when you don't, you have been stung, and the "professional patient" scores another scam.

For the most parts, doctors are honest and honorable, did as well as they could, and patients are honest and honorable, and were grievously harmed. Sometimes the injury was due to neglgence, other times not. Accordingly, the record of the existence of a lawsuit doesn't tell the entire story, not ever. But it is very, very useful information.

As a patient, you want to know if a doctor has a long history of being a defendant. As a doctor, you want to know if a patient has a long history of being a plaintiff. It may make your decision, or not, but it is information you would rather have at the outset of a relationship than not.

NONE OF THIS, however, is private information. While details of medical history are for the most part confidential, the existence of a plaintiff and defendant and a lawsuit are public record. It is just that clerk of court information isn't readily available to everybody.

It may not surprise you to know that for years, consortiums of plaintiff and defense attorneys have kept databases of expert witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants. The fact that the internet has made this information much cheaper and more readily available is, in my view, a very good thing.

Once again, the truth shall set you free.

The question is how the information is used. That is the issue.

It's probably within their rights (1)

Mr. Piddle (567882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494349)


Court cases are already public record, so there isn't a risk of libel/slander in this. Malpractice insurance is so bad right now that this is one way that doctors can protest. After the modern medicine collapses in ruin, people will look back, in hindsight, and say just how spoiled we all were (seeking perfection from human doctors and human doctors seeking high payment for the illusion of perfection).

Can you search the database for bad doctors? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8494350)

That database should be very useful for finding bad doctors. You can find doctors who have multiple malpractice claims against them.

A few states have databases of disciplinary actions against doctors, but that only shows up the really awful ones. With this database, you should able to find the ones that are merely mediocre, and avoid them.

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