Strike Nine. No lawyer will take Mom’s case because of Texas tort law. Help.

Over the past few months, I’ve kept you apprised of the situation regarding my mother, first ending up in a Houston hospital after receiving chemo over my objections, reporting on how Obamacare has already helped her, and my update this past week on how the Shutdown created still more problems for her. Well, as the saying goes, “it gets worse”. My mother was unquestionably catastrophically harmed by a series of medical mistakes from incompetent doctors, and getting her the care she needs will be incredibly expensive (no, this is NOT a plea for money). Mom’s sole source of income is Social Security and a tiny pension (remember those?) of about $80/month. I’m as poor as a church-mouse myself, so who’s left to pay for the extraordinary care she really needs? Well, apparently, no one. My attempts to find a lawyer fell flat. NINE lawfirms have now all refused to take her case deeming it “too complicated with too little payoff”, all citing Texas’ draconian 2003 “Tort Reform” law pushed through by Governor Rick Perry, the GOP, and their overlords from the insurance industry.

A brief recap of what happened to Mom: Last April, my nearly 76 year old mother was told that she needed full-body chemo to treat a lump in her cheek. I told her doctor, “No! Absolutely not!”, but the doctor convinced my health-obsessed mother that if she didn’t have the chemo she’d die. As expected, the chemo made her seriously ill after developing a chest cold, and rather than stop the chemo, her Oncologist simply prescribed antibiotics and pressed on. Mom ended up in the hospital where additional mistakes resulted in a collapsed lung. A week later when she told her nurse she was constipated and hadn’t had a bowel movement in five days (how do the nurses not know?), they got her out of bed for only the third time in two weeks to use a commode-chair despite a collapsed lung and chest tubes hanging out her side. She immediately went into respiratory distress & cardiac arrest that resulted in severe brain damage, leaving her in her in a vegetative state. The doctors then attempted to cover up their mistake by repeatedly lying to us about how she was revived in “under two minutes” and couldn’t account for her condition. We later learned from reviewing her medical records that she actually flatlined for nearly twenty minutes before she was revived.

So that happened.

My mother is now in serious need of diagnostic tests and intensive therapy if she is to ever regain even a modicum of recovery. With every passing day, we see the light flicker out of Mom’s eyes. Once slightly responsive, looking at faces with her eyes and turning her head slowly with interest, those actions are becoming more & more rare after only four months. Time is definitely not on our side. But tests and therapy are expensive and my mother is on Medicare and Social Security (without which, she would be destitute). I’ve contacted NINE Medical Malpractice attorneys here in Texas (including a few ambulance chasers that advertise on TV), but no one will take her case, ALL citing our ridiculous “Tort Reform” law here in Texas.

In 2002, Governor Rick Perry (America only had to endure President Bush for eight years, but in Texas, we had Bush and his Lt. Gov Perry going back to 1996 followed by “Governor Oops” taking over in 2000 where he has remained, long past Bush leaving office, until he retires at the end of next year… 18 years total) pushed for “Medical Malpractice Tort Reform” that he (with the aid of massive funding from the Insurance lobby) claimed would “control soaring health care costs”. It didn’t. All it did do was limit judgements to a mere $250,000… including lawyer-fees… to cover a lifetime of care (whether the victim be 1 or 100.) Unless your case is incredibly simple or you can join in a class-action lawsuit, there’s just too little payoff for a lawfirm to pursue a complex case like my mother’s. Translation: The bastards that ruined my mother’s life will never be held accountable, and are still out there treating unwitting patients.

I’ve contacted one local TV station (I may try others now) and several national TV shows seeking help. None have responded to my emails. Over the weekend, I contacted my local Democratic State Senator and Democratic US Representative (everyone else is a Republican and a likely waste of time, but I’m probably going to try contacting them as well now), but I don’t know what any of them can do short of reversing a ten year old state law in a matter of weeks.

I know some people turn to Facebook, starting Action pages seeking help on an individual level. But I just don’t see something like that going viral based on my one lonely voice. So I come to you dear reader, looking for advice/support/assistance on how to get out the word on how The System has failed my mother and is desperate for your help. This wasn’t a “crack” that Mom slipped through, this is a gaping chasm crowbarred open beneath her feet by Rick Perry, The GOP, and clueless voters that voted this nonsense into law without considering the consequences, all on the false-promise of saving a few bucks on their insurance.

(Please share this story on your Facebook page or Tweet it to your friends. The more people that hear about her story, the better the chances are of finding help. Thanks. – Mugsy)

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October 28, 2013 · Admin Mugsy · 8 Comments - Add
Posted in: Crime, General, Healthcare, Money, Politics, Rants, Right-Wing Insanity

  • Trantorian October 28, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    Call me if you need to. Let me know and I’ll send my number.

    • Mugsy October 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      Thanks, though you don’t mention how you believe you might be able to help.

      • Trantorian October 29, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        I’m a HC practitioner. Just someone to bounce off of and vent to. I have no ready solutions. But maybe some ideas. O/W call the state board of medical quality assurance or whatever comparable organization that exists in TX and file a complain, using names. Also write to local newspapers and media websites and blasts those f*****s on public forums. It MAY get a reaction from them. I’m really sorry I can’t help more. If you need some medical advice I’m here for you as best as I can.

  • Grant in Texas October 28, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Have you tried going to our two law school faculties here in the city, South Texas (Now A&M) and U of Houston?  I had a botched hernia surgery at age 26 on top of poor post-op care at the old Memorial Baptist system that essentially left me impotent.  My brother was in his second year at South Texas at the time and said that malpractice was hard to prove as doctors are most reluctant to testify against each other.  The second surgeon who made the repairs shook his head and remarked he’d never seen such a poor job, even when having bullets part his hair in a Korean War M.A.S.H. surgery tent.  However, he probably would “forget” that remark in court.  Wishing you success and best wishes to your mother.

  • Earnest Weaver November 9, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    The case in question involved a baby who evidently was delivered by cesarean section too late, resulting in significant damage. His mother was awarded about$3.4 million in medical damages and about$1.5 million in non-economic damages. The law reduced that latter amount to $350,000. She sued that this was a infringement on the right of juries to decide matters like these. She won.

  • Dora D. Guerra November 22, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    The new law provides defendants greater flexibility to move cases out of state courts and into federal jurisdiction, which has historically been more favorable to big business in civil suits.

    • Admin Mugsy November 22, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      Interesting, though taking a “malpractice” suit to the Federal Court, you are (quite literally) “making a Federal Case out of it”, requiring entirely didn’t charges.

      Short of accusing the doctor/hospital of “murder” or administering the wrong medicine because they got kickbacks from the pharmaceutical industry, you really can’t simply charge someone with “malpractice” unless their actions put the nation as a whole at risk. :(

  • Admin Mugsy November 26, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    A follow-up to anyone following this story.

    Two more lawfirms rejected taking the case (making 11 total), though one of them was willing to sue over the “bedsore” she developed in that same hospital (the simple stuff is easier to win.) I turned down the offer because 1) If I sue over that, it’ll hurt my credibility if I’m able to pursue a case over her REAL injury and 2) I might not even get the pathetic $250K max.

    I also re-contacted one sympathetic lawyer over the possibility of suing the law itself. He said it’s been tried and the law was upheld as constitutional in both State AND Federal court.

    ANY suit based on “Malpractice” is dead in the water. I need another grounds upon which to sue.