Florida has staggered towards reform in the last few years under Governor Jeb Bush, bush GOP candidate Charlie Crist’s running mate, Jeff Kottkamp, is a trial lawyer, reform opponent, and plaintiff in a ludicrous suit blaming a hospital construction contractor for medical complications he had following heart surgery. (John Kennedy, “GOP candidate breaks rank on tort reform”, Sun-Sentinel, Oct. 5) (via Childs). Earlier coverage: Sep. 18 and links therein.
Elsewhere in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court has essentially undone a 2004 reform voters passed in a referendum (Nov. 3, Mar. 1: it will allow attorneys to avoid the effect of a constitutional amendment capping medical malpractice attorneys’ fees, so long as their clients sign a waiver saying they’re willing to pay more. (Aaron Deslatte, “Court lets lawyers bypass lawsuit cap”, Tallahassee Democrat, Sep. 29). I actually applaud this step to the free market, but just wish doctors had the same rights to get their patients to sign waivers. Apparently courts and consumer advocates are willing to trust only lawyers with the freedom of contract or speech.