My good friend Allie Wall from Georgia Watch issued this Release yesterday:
According to the Justice Department, the popularity of alternative dispute resolution and the “increased complexity and costs inherent in taking a case to trial” have made it harder than ever for an injured person to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to a trial by jury.
Senate Bill 3, signed into law in February by Governor Sonny Perdue, further restricts families’ ability to seek justice by drastically reducing accountability for corporations such as Georgia Pacific, and for health care providers, nursing homes and hospitals. In fact, SB 3 gives all emergency room personnel near-complete immunity, even when their negligence and mistakes clearly resulted in the injury or death of an innocent patient.
The effect of these extreme limitations on the Constitutional rights of individuals and families is already apparent. Pat Wright, a Gainesville resident and factory worker, has searched over six months for legal representation after discovering metal sutures that were left in her left arm and shoulder following a 2003 surgery. As a result, Wright believes, she has suffered severe, constant pain for over two years and has permanent nerve damage.<>
“It's devastating for me and my family, and there are so many more like me who just want their day in court, to hold the person who hurt us accountable," said Wright. "Isn’t that one of the founding principles of our country? No one has been able to explain why victims of medical negligence don’t deserve a fair jury trial, but that's the law now here in
The report, "Federal Tort Trials and Verdicts, 2002-03" NCJ-208713 was written by BJS statistician Thomas H. Cohen and can be accessed online at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/fttv03.htm
Founded in 2002, Georgia Watch is a non-profit, nonpartisan 501-(c)(3) watchdog group focusing on consumer education and research in the areas of health care, insurance and personal finance.script>