This week on my Fox Business program (Thursday @ 9pm ET), I'll talk about the evil that tort lawyers do.
It's no secret that I'm not a fan of the personal injury. Once my kid asked me, “Daddy, how can you hate lawyers? All your, like, friends are lawyers!” He had a point. I live in New York City. You can’t make a move without bumping into a lawyer. Anyway, I don’t hate all lawyers. As I write in my syndicated column this week, we need lawyers. We need them to preserve the rule of law. We need them to defend us if others cheat us, steal from us, trample on our rights.
It's why I've come to think of lawyers the way I think about
nuclear missiles. We need them to keep us safe. But we avoid using missiles because we understand the collateral damage they do. We ought to avoid lawyers for the same reason.
... Look at health care. The lawyers claim they punish bad doctors and win compensation for injured patients, and their suits add "less than 2 percent to the cost." But there is another side to that story.
Dr. Manny Alvarez, chairman of obstetrics at Hackensack
University Medical Center, points out that 1 or 2 percent is just the direct cost. The indirect costs are far higher because suits force doctors and hospitals to practice defensive medicine and do unnecessary tests.
"If ... you walk in (an emergency room) with a headache, what do they do? They order a CAT scan, an MRI, you name it, " Alvarez said.
They do surgery on people who may not need it. That's safer for the doctor, although it's not safer for the patients.
Full column here.