If you need a lawyer to sue your doctor, go to church because only God can help you.
A Sparks reader last week contacted several attorneys about a potential malpractice case. None called back.
The Nevada medical-industrial complex has made itself pretty much lawsuit proof.
Remember all those TV spots before the 2004 election? They showed long lines of white-coated people walking down both sides of the desert highway from Las Vegas to California.
A funeral-voiced announcer intoned (Oh my!) that doctors were leaving Nevada in droves because predatory lawyers were suing them into oblivion.
Question 3 passed by a whopping 147,930 votes (59 to 41 percent). All of our problems were solved, right? Nah.
The 2015 Nevada legislature just funded a new UNLV medical school because (drum roll, please) doctors are leaving Nevada.
The bogus 2014 initiative doesn’t stop you from suing for malpractice. It just ensures that if you’re unable to pay time and expenses out of your own pocket, you can’t get an attorney because awards are capped.
In 1978, my wife’s daughter, Debra Donlevy, (Carson High ‘77) died at the hands of incompetent doctor at a rural Nevada hospital. Kicked out of Canada, this guy was hired through some subcontractor. Without first stabilizing her vital signs, he loaded the 19 year-old auto accident victim into an ambulance. She died en route to Reno.
In one of its finest moments, led by former Tribune reporter Steve Timko, the Reno Gazette-Journal in 2006 enterprised a series about rural health care. Nothing had changed, fast helicopters notwithstanding.
Mother and daughter now repose together in Carson City.
In 2004, I launched DoctorLawyerWatch.com and periodically post stories about the most skullduggerous physicians and attorneys afflicting us.
The ballot question’s main selling point blamed those damned barristers for skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates, thus forcing doctors out.
In 2004, Gomorrah South rates more than doubled the rest of the state. Las Vegas obstetricians topped the ticket at $88,586 a year. (Parents expect perfect babies.) Inflation-adjusted for 2012, that becomes $107,669.74.
Twisted justice abides. By 2012, an average LV ob/gyn was paying $168,750.
All the 2004 campaign did was to prevent little people from suing malpractice insurers. So the TV ambulance chasers now only hustle car wrecks and people with real injuries can only pray.
IRONY, PART DEUX. On that same 2004 ballot, Question 2 failed 51-49. It mandated that Nevada fund education at or above the national average. Instead, we continue falling out of the bottom of the barrel. The Barbwire scooped the legit media last month by revealing that after all the infighting over tax increases at this year’s legislative session, per-pupil spending remains flat at recessionary levels.
Alas and alack, what might have been.
IN MEMORIAM. A great champion of the powerless, the late Assembly member Vivian Freeman, D-Reno, was born Vivian Lois Ruff on August 18, 1927, in Ashton, Idaho.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 46-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.