(Closed) Forfeiting the right to go to court?

posted 7 years ago in Legal
Post # 17
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7546 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

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@bebelicious1:  every doctor has been sued before. My brother was sued by the family of a woman who died in his emergency room shortly after being brough in by ambulance. She was (no lie) 102 years old and died of pneumonia, and he wasn’t even working when she was admitted or when she died. The fact that you’ve been sued might not accurately reflect your competency.

All this paperwork is saying is that instead of a lawsuit and Trial, if you suffer any damages, they will be determined by an arbitrator. You’re not giving up your right to be fairly compensated if something goes wrong and it should not be any reflection on the doctor!

Doctors and insurance companies like arbitration because it’s faster to present and settle a case than a trial. Faster = cheaper. 

 

Post # 18
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196 posts
Blushing bee

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@bebelicious1:  You know what’s really funny? I am doing an assignment on this *right* now and I went on the bee for a distraction. Hah! From a business perspective (iTunes or your doctor, whatever) the main reason would be as you said- it is not on public record so they can avoid the publicity and everything remains confidential so they don’t get dragged through the mud basically. Also, in courts they have precedent. Like, in this case this was decided, so that’s what will happen here. In arbitration, you come to a settlement between you so it isn’t necessarily based on precedent. That means if they award you heaps of money, someone else can’t necessarily argue that they deserve the same amount or whatever. Nothing to worry about really. If anything were to happen, you’d still have a right to deal with it. And there are benefits for you too. Doesn’t take as long, cheaper etc. 

And if any bees want to share why they personally would do alternative dispute resolution, I’m all ears haha.

Post # 21
Member
11517 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@bebelicious1: My father is a lawyer and he always said that liability waivers were a joke and would sign them and always said that if something happened he’d sue anyways (we’re in Canada so the legal system is a littler different, we’re not quite as ‘litigation happy’ as the US – I don’t think). 

Arbitration, as PP’s have said, involves a third party (for example – all those judge shows on TV are generally binding arbitration – Judge Judy isn’t actually a Judge anymore) who hears both sides and declares a verdict.  I believe, that the big difference is that arbitration does not set a precedent, so what you win cannot influence what someone later will win in the same case.

Post # 24
Member
11517 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

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@bebelicious1:  yep – if you watch at the end in the legal it says that parties have agreed to binding arbitration and blah blah blah – Judges are federally appointed, I don’t think you could be a sitting judge and be on a TV show like that.  It’s one of those titles that you get to keep after you leave the bench.

 

Post # 25
Member
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

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@bebelicious1:  Nope.  They’re real.  Judge Marilyn is from Miami.  Judge Perry from the Casey Anthony case is getting his own show in two years.

Post # 26
Member
7546 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

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@bebelicious1:  Most of the judge shows, the defendant and the plaintiff agree to what is called “binding arbitration” which basically means, the arbitrator (Judge Judy!!!) decides the case and the two parties must follow whatever terms the arbitrator lays out.  So you’ve actually seen arbitration many times before– you are just seeing the overly-dramatic hollywood version of it. More likely the arbitrator just wears a suit and there’s not a roomful of people watching.

FWIW frivolous lawsuits are one of the many factors that are contributing to the insane price of medical care in the US.  It’s not uncommon at all for a plaintiff to name pretty much everyone who works at a hospital in a suit; then it becomes the defendant’s job to show why that person should be excluded, and that takes lawyers and time which means money.

A lot of times, lawsuits will be settled out of court just because it’s cheaper than actually litigating.  When I worked for the local government, the Office of the Corporate Counsel had a special team of lawyers who went through incoming lawsuits putting a ballpark estimate together of how much it would cost to go to trial, and making people settlement offers that were cheaper than that even if the case had no merit.  I had a friend who was a city cop who was sued by a lady he arrested for driving without a license and not having carseats on her kids— this was actually the THIRD time he’d pulled her over for the exact same offense, and he’d given her two warnings already (and the fire department gives out free car seats so no excuse for not having one) but she filed a $500,000 suit for discrimination and emotional damage or some similar nonsense; the corporate counsel offered her I believe $10k to settle out of court because it would cost the city that much just to show up, and she took it.  No way would she have won in court but when you get sued, you have to respond, and while that example isn’t about the medical world, it’s the same concept.

So do not judge your doctor based on whether or not they’ve been sued or settled because frankly, anyone can sue anyone they want to, and they might end up with a settlement just because it’s cheaper than actually defending yourself in court.

FWIW OB/GYN’s and shock-trauma/ER doctors and nurses apparently get sued the most, because even without any negligence or wrongdoing, a baby can be born with birth defects, or even with the best care, an injured patiend might die, and people sometimes like to blame someone else when they are having a sad emotional time.  It’s one of the reasons there is a shortage of OB/GYN in some areas; the malpractice insurance makes it too expensive to try and run a practice.

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