Welcome to my world. I am a trial lawyer. If you want to talk about jackpot justice or frivolous lawsuits, lottery ticket plaintiffs, or tort reform, you stopped at the right place. Let’s talk.
I see a lot of pain. Like the pain in a mother’s eyes when her 18 year old daughter dies needlessly through negligence, the pain in parents hearts when a stubborn doctor refuses to heed nurses warnings and lets a newborn die from an easily treated heart defect or the lifelong psychological burden of a young person with gross and permanent facial scars. I hire my staff in part on whether they can look at the photographs of the burns, at the photos of a man who fell 20 feet face first onto a lava rock formation or deal with a client who has serious mental problems from a traumatic brain injury from an automobile collision or a malfunctioning machine. The Broadway play and the movie Rent© has a song that starts the conversation for me:
The lyric from Seasons of Love© notes that there are 525,600 minutes in a year. Have you commented lately on how fast time flies and how it seems that 6 months went flying by like it was a minute? Well the burn patients, the paralyzed driver and the mother mourning the loss of her daughter can tell you that time moves slowly in agonizing minutes and long nights for them. How do you measure a year? How does that burn victim measure a year? I like the lyric from this song:
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?
How about love?
The people and corporations that cause injuries talk a lot about how they shouldn’t have to pay for these injuries – they lobby Congress with lots of their profits to put caps on damages. The caps on damages don’t just apply to a case where there was no wrongdoing or it was the injured persons own fault. This isn’t a cap on damages for a silly lawsuit. The caps apply to all cases and the caps serve to protect bad doctors, poorly run hospitals, drunk drivers and the insurance companies. If you believe in law and order, caps on damages is the opposite. Let the thief and the robber go free because prisons cost too much money. Is that what you believe should happen? Who benefits? No one except some corporate CEO at an insurance company or a careless doctor or manufacturer.
Caps on damages mean that when a housewife suffers terrible disfiguring facial scars, or an injury that leaves her with lifelong chronic pain, she will only recover a small amount for her suffering. Caps on damages devalue life and for what reason?
The reason is that corporations and insurance companies make more money _ and they are making a lot of money now _ if they don’t have to pay people for their losses. We already accept the fact the medical profession is responsible for 98,000 deaths each year from avoidable medical errors. And the doctors are flying in the state legislatures and Congress and asking for even more protection from lawsuits against negligent doctors and hospitals. That is equivalent to 2 fully loaded 737 aircraft crashing each day for a year.
If you want to get the entire story behind caps on damages and the attacks driven by corporate greed on the courts, you can find it in The Commonweal Institute Report "The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law" that chronicles the history of corporate efforts to shut down the courts and eliminate trial lawyers because the courts are the only place remaining for average people to stand up to abuses and to correct wrongs.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes in a year.
A resident of Honolulu, Hawaii, Wayne Parson is an Injury Attorney that has dedicate his life to improving the delivery of justice to the people of his community and throughout the United States. He is driven to make sure that the wrongful, careless or negligent behavior that caused his clients' injury or loss does not happen to others.