Here is yet another case where a plaintiff was denied full adjudication by a jury of his/her peers because of a legislative capped recovery. The family of Hector Alvarez was awarded $1.25 million in a medical malpractice case against Dr. William J. Dunwood, III a radiologist at Inova HealthPlex in Alexandria, VA.
On July 6, 2006, Mr. Alvarez experienced chest pains and trouble swallowing after taking a bite of steak. He went to Inova HealthPlex where he was put through several tests before being diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. He was sent home with medication, but soon returned to the hospital when the pain did not subside. The next day a surgeon discovered that Mr. Alvarez actually had a perforated esophagus from the piece of steak becoming lodged in his throat. He was rushed into surgery to repair the tear, but not before he suffered cardiac arrest. There was difficulty resuscitating Alvarez and he suffered irreparable brain damage. The surgery was not able to be performed. Mr. Alvarez subsequently died on July 17, 2006. Had Mr. Alvarez not been misdiagnosed, appropriate treatment would not have been delayed and he would be with his family today.
The result of this medical malpractice/wrongful death lawsuit demonstrates the tragedy of tort reform. The jury awarded the family $3 million, but due to Virginia caps on medical malpractice awards, the verdict was reduced to $1.2 million. While the award may sound significant, a man is forever lost to his family and a jury decided the value of his life to his family. Why does a selfish legislature get to play God here?
Does the general public realize the impact of caps on everyday people. Tort reform provides a corporate bailout to rich and powerful insurance companies and other industries, and punishes everyone else. Those who must deal with the loss of a loved one for the rest of their lives suffer the most. The taxpayers pick up the balance of a burden that should fall on the insurance company that accepted the risk. It is unconstitutional, unjust, and just plain wrong.
Lawsuit Financial is a pro-justice lawsuit funding company that will continue to fight against tort reform until we eliminate all forms of this unconstitutional, corporate bailout. We provide lawsuit funding to plaintiffs in need of financial assistance while going through the long litigation process. With more than 30 years experience, we have provided lawsuit funding for individuals seeking damages due resulting from medical malpractice, auto accidents, personal injury cases, and slip and fall accidents. Lawsuit Funding may be an answer to reducing financial stress until your lawsuit is resolved.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.