New York has an awful law that limits the recovery of New York medical malpractice lawyers. As I have written before it is the kind of law I hate the most. No, not because it cuts into malpractice lawyers’ pocketbooks. I hate this cap rule because it is the worst kind of consumer protection: it looks like it helps consumers but actually hurts their ability to retain a lawyer. (While this is not a popular view in 2009, the same is true I believe with CEO salaries.) So while it looks like it helps victims – and it may help some individual victims who might have paid more who have great malpractice claims – the practical impact is that less medical malpractice victims who have claims are able to get New York malpractice lawyers. The related problem that comes from this is that many malpractice lawyers will, as a result, refuse to front the expense of a case, which also transfers the risk and the cost of the case from the malpractice lawyer – where it should be – to the client.
The New York Post has an article critical of efforts in the New York legislature of efforts to finally fix this awful malpractice law.