Trial lawyers: Doctors aren't leaving in droves

By By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Aug. 14, 2002
Four trial lawyers chartered a private plane Tuesday to tour the state and give their point of view about tort reform: Doctors are not leaving Mississippi in droves.
They disputed claims by insurance companies, the state Medical Association and President Bush that the state's legal climate is hostile and making it hard for doctors to find malpractice insurance.
Baria led the delegation, which traveled in a twin-engine Barron that stopped in five cities for separate news conferences. Stops included Meridian, Greenville, Tupelo, Hattiesburg and Gulfport.
Trial lawyers have been at odds with doctors and business leaders for months over whether to change the state's civil justice system, a move commonly called "tort reform."
Legislative action
A 26-member legislative committee has spent the summer studying the issue. The panel is expected to meet again today and Thursday and could consider a tort reform proposal.
Such legislation could limit non-economic damages in lawsuits and restrict where lawsuits can be filed. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove has said he may call a special session on the issue this summer.
Meanwhile, the Mississippi State Medical Association issued a statement Tuesday that said the number of medically-licensed physicians in the state dropped to a record low in July.
John Cook, the association's president, said Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure figures show 5,567 doctors in 2000, 5,710 in 2001 and 5,637 in 2002.
Bush's support
Last week, President Bush threw his support behind tort reform in Mississippi during a speech in Madison. The president called for limiting damages to $250,000 in cases of gross misconduct.
But Baria said insurance companies and the American Medical Association have made Mississippi heath care providers pawns in a "public relation scheme designed to line their own pockets."
Lance Stevens, a member of the trial lawyers association, said the state's crisis was created by insurance companies to recoup money lost in the stock market and from years of writing underinflated premiums.

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: In memoriam – Monuments honor the fallen of Franklin

High School Sports

RHS senior chosen as Bryant-Jordan Region 8 Scholar winner

High School Sports

Russellville High School ladies soccer team members participate in annual Night to Shine

News

Russellville High School Scholars Bowl team qualifies for state tournament

News

Vina kindergarteners connect with lots of other classes

News

PCHS JAG student places in district conference

Features

Wedding Spotlight: Layne and Frank Edwards

Franklin County

RHS senior competes at state DYW competition

News

Extension, 4-H present free resume workshop

Franklin County

Franklin County has lots to love

High School Sports

Russellville High School honors alum Luther Tiggs with special night of basketball

News

BTCPA announces second production of season

News

RMS holds annual state assessment celebration

Franklin County

Red Bay welcomes new city attorney

Franklin County

Attempted traffic stop leads to high-speed vehicle pursuit, wreck 

Franklin County

Vehicle pursuit ends in wreck, arrest 

News

RFD, RHS collab promotes job readiness, community safety

Franklin County

Local students named to Mississippi State University’s fall 2023 President’s List

News

Russellville Elementary features among U.S. News & World Report best elementary schools

News

RCS receives recognition as finalist for national award

News

Plans get underway to raise funds for cancer research in memory of Bedfords

Franklin County

PHOTOS: Freezing temperatures make way for fun

Belgreen

Belgreen High School improves district report card score

News

RHS earns College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

x