Kentucky Court Report Unofficial blog of Kentucky Court of Appeals and Supreme Court decisions, minutes, argument calendars and news - maintained as a public service by Louisville injury attorney Michael Stevens with law firm of Isaacs and Isaacs
Injury victims limited to damages compensated by insurer, California Supreme Court rules.
The Sacramento Business Journal (8/19, Subscription Publication) reported in its "Morning Roundup" blog that "the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that accident victims shouldn't receive more in damages for medical bills than the amount paid to the provider." Plaintiffs' attorneys balked at the ruling, and argued "it equates 'reasonable value' with negotiated rates paid by insurance companies rather than the full cost of care. It's being heralded by insurers and business leaders, who predicted premium hikes to offset skyrocketing costs."
With de facto tort reform being evidenced in jury verdicts that award nothing for pain, suffering, anguish and inconvenience in cases of broken bones, back surgery, and near medieval torture from months of time-consuming and arduous physical therapy, all of which are accompanied by prescription pain medications, with a further discount by at least one Court of Appeals decision sluffing off the zero verdict because the claimant had a "high pain threshhold", I thought the following story on a knee injury might enlighten some that injuries do hurt and have consequences as lives are affected, schooling activities adjusted, and hopes diminished:
Maddie Tonini, a senior at Manual High School, started playing soccer competitively when she was 8. "It's always been my sport," she said. But in the fall of 2005, she was felled by an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament of her right knee. There were three loud pops she'll never forget. But she's not suffering alone. "Female ACL injuries are five times greater in soccer and eight times greater in basketball," according to Dr. David N. Caborn, a professor of orthopedic surgery at U of L.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has released an en banc opinion in Murphy v. Internal Revenue Service, No. 05-5139 (July 3, 2007). The summary of the opinion as prepared by the Court: "Marrita Murphy brought this suit to recover income taxes she paid on the compensatory damages for emotional distress and loss of reputation * * * *
That's the suggestion of Keith Hylton (BU) in this SSRN entry. The abstract:This essay is a series of reflections on the implications of Philip Morris for the tort reform movement. I make an effort below to find a middle ground.