Local doctor: You can sue a ham sandwich in this state'

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
June 28, 2001
Meridian was the third stop on a statewide tour Wednesday organized by the Mississippi State Medical Association to address the state's increasing number of medical lawsuits and awards.
Anderson, a radiation oncologist, led a press conference at Metro Ambulance to address what he called "epidemic" lawsuit abuse. Anderson and Johnny Williamson, operations manager of Metro Ambulance, urged the public to lobby for tort reform in Mississippi.
Anderson said the number of claims in the state with indemnity payments to plaintiffs was up 41 percent from 1999 to 2000.
Citing figures from the Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi, the largest insurer of physicians in the state, Anderson said the number of lawsuits against physicians rose 24 percent between 1999 and 2000, and have increased another 24 percent so far this year. Only 10 percent of the lawsuits ever went to trial; 73 percent of those resulted in no reward for the plaintiff.
Anderson said he has been recruiting for a partner for more than a year without success.
Anderson said frivolous cases are driving up the costs of treatment for patients as well as the cost of practicing for physicians.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.