Recent Blog Posts

By Any Count, It's Trial by Fire

 Posted on May 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

Thirty-six.  The number of days our doors had been open before going out for the first of two, simultaneous, complex medical malpractice trials.

Sixteen.  Total trial days.

Eight.  The number of floors between courtrooms.

Five.  The number of attorneys charged with handling these cases.

Four.  The number of tireless support staff tending to every detail.

Two.  The number of families for whom we had the privilege of seeking justice.

On May 14, Bob Geimer and Shawn Kasserman argued motions in limine before Judge Elizabeth Budzinski on the 20th floor of the Daley Center in a shoulder dystocia case that resulted in permanent injuries to the young man’s brachial plexus nerves.  On May 16, Tim Tomasik and Dan Kotin argued motions in limine before Judge Daniel Lynch on the 28th floor of the Daley Center in a botched circumcision case.

And just like that, we were off and running.  Just 36 days into the life of our brand new firm, working in temporary office space with ad hoc furniture and no conference room, we were trying two medical malpractice cases to juries.  In my first 19 months of practice, I hadn’t yet had the privilege of working on a jury trial.  So the thought of working on two at once was daunting.  To the TKK partners, it was a new challenge they couldn’t wait to confront.

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New Study Concludes Medical Malpractice Awards Not the Cause of Rising Healthcare Costs

 Posted on May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

By: Daniel M. Kotin

For years, study-after-study have rebuked the claims of the healthcare industry that malpractice awards are driving up the costs of medical across our country.  Yet, it continues to be reassuring when the source of these study results are the top medical institutions in America.

On May 1, 2013, four researchers from John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland released a review of medical malpractice payouts and concluded that they constitute “far less than one-percent of national medical expenditures in the United States.”  Quite simply, malpractice awards are not the cause of any medical crisis.

The study concluded that the real cause of increasing medical costs is the extraordinary amount of tests and other diagnostic procedures being performed on patients.  The study’s leader, Marty Makary, M.D., concluded that reform efforts should focus on the amount of defensive medicine being practiced, rather than on the creation of caps on medical malpractice awards.  He said that the results of this study called for more research to “determine what interventions might prevent the type of errors that result in catastrophic payouts, with the overall goal for improving patient safety and reducing costs at the same time.”

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Tragedy at Russian Hospital Shows Need for Civil Justice System

 Posted on April 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

By: Daniel M. Kotin

At 2:00 a.m. on April 26, 2013 fire broke out at a Russian psychiatric hospital in a village 70 miles north of Moscow.  An alarm sounded, but there was no fire extinguisher, hose, nor fire hydrant on or near the property.  A fire station was located on the other side of a canal, but the ferry needed to cross the canal was not operating.  It took firefighters one hour to reach the burning building.  By that time, 38 of 39 patients had died, most of them burned alive.

Tragedies like this one are common in Russia.  The president of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia recalls 15 similar fires at institutions in the past year.  The death rate for fires in Russia is eight times greater than that in the United States.

The reason for so many deaths is not because Russia lacks the intelligence or financial ability to protect its citizens.  Rather, the problem is due to the absence of a functioning civil justice system which would hold wrong-doers responsible to their victims and create incentive in Russian society to improve safety for citizens.

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