More Tort Reform Needed?

Dr. Georges Bensimhon, an anesthesiologist has been charged with attempted aggravated murder in connection with an alleged assault on his son-in-law, Dr. Seth Alan Hoffer of Cleveland Heights. According to Cleveland Heights police reports, Dr. Hoffer was about to travel to Florida when Dr. Bensimhon attacked him with a pry bar early in the morning of Sept. 4, 2013. More Tort Reform Needed? If a doctor hurts or even kills you, they are protected from big civil penalties

As a former assistant prosecutor, I immediately take the position that if this is true then Dr. Bensimhon should be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Then I got to thinking, “Can we afford to lose more Doctors?” For years tort reformers have urged that unless we pass laws to minimize the penalty on physicians for their wrongs in civil court, we risk them leaving the State. And, we listened. Thank goodness. Now, in Ohio, and so many other states, if a doctor hurts or even kills you, they are protected from big civil penalties (in case you were wondering, no, you and me don’t enjoy that protection).

So I say, if we protect them in civil court, we should protect them in criminal court. We should turn to the local and national Chambers of Commerce and urge them to lobby the legislature for limits on criminal penalties for doctors. I mean after all, as a condition of bail, Dr. Bensimhon has turned over his passport! Sound familiar? “Doctors will leave the state unless we protect them from civil lawsuits!”

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Well, isn’t a criminal case just a lawsuit brought by the State??? If we don’t change the law immediately to protect doctors from big criminal penalties we are encouraging them to leave not only the State but the Country! Unless we do something to protect Dr. Bensimhon from his son-in-law and who knows who else, we risk losing him. Think about it.