One recent article came to our attention illustrating the lengths that the medical malpractice insurance industry will go to to limit their liability for the negligent health care professionals that they cover. As medical malpractice attorneys we feel that the right place to determine compensation for injuries and death caused by medical professionals is in a courtroom before a jury.
However, a recent article in the Iowa Capital Dispatch illustrates the lengths that a professional liability insurance company went to to sway state legislators to cap the damages that people injured by the medical system can receive.
According to court filings, lawyers for an Iowa medical clinic claim that an insurance company, MMIC Insurance Inc., orchestrated a record-setting medical malpractice judgment against the clinic to influence Iowa lawmakers to pass tort-reform legislation in 2023. In the name of risk management, this medical malpractice insurance company threw their own client under the proverbial bus in an attempt to win the long game of capping their own overhead.
In March 2022, a jury awarded over $97.4 million to the family of a boy who suffered brain damage during birth at an Iowa City hospital, later reduced to $75.6 million. The clinic, doctors, and the family had initially sought a settlement within the clinic’s insurance policy coverage, but the insurer resisted, leading to the trial. This company that the hospital relied on for malpractice coverage induced an extremely large payout so that they could sway legislators by showing how damaging payouts could be to medical providers.
The clinic’s new attorney, Nick Rowley, alleges that MMIC intentionally engineered the large jury award to support its lobbying efforts for tort reform, which included capping damages for malpractice cases. After the verdict, MMIC allegedly used the clinic’s financial troubles caused by the award to justify the need for tort reform, claiming clinics would close, and doctors would leave the state without it. Subsequently, state lawmakers passed House File 161, capping noneconomic damages for medical incidents at $1 million for clinics and individual doctors, and $2 million for hospitals.
Rowley argues that MMIC acted in bad faith, refusing to settle the case and instead pushing for the bankruptcy of the clinic, which MMIC allegedly orchestrated and paid for, to further their agenda. The plan was almost successful until a federal judge dismissed the bankruptcy case as fraudulent.
MMIC is currently seeking a federal court injunction to preserve its right to appeal the $75.6 million judgment, while the clinic and its physicians want to negotiate a settlement and pursue a separate lawsuit against MMIC for bad faith. Rowley, a high-profile plaintiffs’ attorney, plans to sue the company for over $1 billion to expose details of the lobbying efforts that led to the tort reform legislation.
This ongoing legal battle involves complex allegations of bad faith conduct by the medical liability insurer and its alleged efforts to manipulate the legal system for political and financial gain.
Leading Belleville, IL Medical Malpractice Lawyers
We believe that if you have been hurt as a result of negligent medical practices you have every right to present your case through a liability claim in a court of law.
If you or someone you know is injured because of the negligence of medical professionals, you need the thorough and aggressive legal representation provided by Belleville IL medical malpractice attorneys, Keefe, Keefe & Unsell, P.C..
Our Belleville, Illinois Medical Law Firm is well-known for our ability to detect the viability of injury, medical malpractice, product liability and wrongful death cases and then prepare and fight for our clients’ ability to recover damages.
We’ve earned the reputation of winning injury and malpractice cases that might seem daunting to other attorneys in Belleville, Il. We encourage anyone who has been injured as a result of medical negligence or malpractice to contact us at our Belleville, Illinois law office at: (618) 236-2221