01 February 2003

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It's always either the lawyers' fault or the doctors' fault. Nobody seems to check out the insurance companies. I would be very interested in knowing if anyone has done a study to see if the downturn of the stock market and the insurance companies investments tracks with the rise in insurance rates.

I would be very interested in seeing what would happen if there was a movement to cap insurance profits.

Actually, I would agree that a cap on punitive damages on professionals would be acceptable as long as it was not extended to companies and corporations. A professional is unlikely to say "if I screw up twice a year, leading to two deaths, and maximum punitive damages are $100,000 each I can only put in five sutures in each patient (instead of 10) and I will earn $250,000 thereby making a greater profit." At least 3 of the four traditional professions (doctors, lawyers, clergy) have ethical (or higher) obligations which are supposed to stop that sort of analysis.** On the other hand, a company is quite capable of making this sort of analysis. Car manufacturers have to make this sort of analysis all the time (they are after all making big blocks of metal which travel at high rates of speed) and I would rather that they could not just factor in the twenty-five times a year that the new wundercar will explode because a left turn signal is on and someone rear-ends the car. I would prefer that they are worried about getting badly burnt by that one case so that they work to limit the risk of their exposure as much as possible (at least until GMC hires me).

** Although a honest man must admit that in the end reality has to be factored in. As lawyer I cannot help anyone if my doors close because I push a single court-appointed case too far and put all my money into that case's experts and investigators.

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