HEALTH COURTS….Over at Legal Affairs, Philip Howard is arguing that medical malpractice cases should be removed from the current judicial system and instead be tried by special jury-less “health courts.” Stephanie Mencimer thinks he’s being a snob:
The facts involved in medical malpractice trials are not any more complicated, nor is the law more “arcane,” than those currently facing Alabama jurors in the fraud trial of former HealthSouth president Richard Scrushy. Yet imagine the public’s reaction to a proposal to abolish juries in CEO trials and replace them with an administrative system staffed by “trained business professionals” whom we should trust to create predictability in sentencing, deter future wrongdoing, and set the standards of corporate behavior.
In this country, we trust juries enough to let them kill someone in a criminal case, but somehow, when juries make decisions about money, especially insurance company money, they’re attacked as irrational, unsophisticated, unwieldy, and slow.
Yes, it’s funny how insurance company money seems to require special treatment, isn’t it?
Howard and Mencimer are debating the idea all this week, so head over and read the whole thing.