The President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Steve Phillips, has come out to make strong statements against the “report cards” that the American College of Emergency Physicians’ (ACEP) assigned in 2014. Phillips believes that such categorization undermines the civil justice system and unfairly represents Illinois citizens who try to access the courts.
In 2014, ACEP rated Illinois near the bottom for emergency care environment. They accused the state of having ineffective medical malpractice liabilities and environment, and for allowing excessive lawsuits. Phillips disagreed with these assertions. He believes that ACEP’s wish compare the quality of emergency care in Illinois to how accessible the courts are for injured patients is nonsensical and unfair. The two do not properly correlate to each other and thus the comparison falls short of the allegations that ACEP makes, in Phillip’s opinion.
Phillip states that the ACEP fails to recognize that medical malpractice lawsuits have actually been on the decline since 2003, having decreased by almost 40%. When ACEP argues that Illinois has the second highest rate for premiums for doctors, Phillip says they don’t take all the facts into account. The premiums for doctors’ insurance are high because doctors are one of the few professionals who are securely protected through their insurance. Even with cases of negligence against them, they are not charged with punitive damages Philips states.
Phillips proclaims that those who have caused medical negligence should be held responsible for the damages they have caused. Injured patients should have access to the courts to fairly represent them. It is more important now, considering the commercialization of the ER rooms. He believes that trial lawyers are needed to prosecute medical malpractice cases. It was cases like these that changed laws and made hospitals safer.