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Medical Malpractice Claims Keep Patients Safe; Legal Immunities Do Not

David Mittleman

For years, insurance companies and health care providers have been trying to convince the public that there are too many “frivolous” medical malpractice lawsuits. Although the argument sounds compelling, a look at the facts proves otherwise. According to some reports, nearly 100,000 die in hospitals every year as a result of preventable mistakes. If health care providers commit avoidable errors, and these errors result in life-changing or even deadly consequences, they should be held accountable. This is true in virtually every other aspect of daily living, and negligent doctors should be no exception.

In Michigan, laws have been set up to protect health care providers to a degree well beyond any other profession. In fact, due to procedural constraints and other legal protections, it is essentially impossible to file a “frivolous” medical malpractice lawsuit in Michigan. Unless these legalistic formalities are stringently observed, even the most meritorious case will be dismissed without ever reaching a jury. In addition, many valid claims cannot be pursued due to the expense involved in trying these cases.

Doctors and other health care providers fill vital and indispensable roles in our community. However, their mistakes – avoidable, preventable, careless mistakes – can and do frequently have catastrophic results. When this happens, an injured patient and his or her family should be able to find justice in a court of law.


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