From Lawyers to Baseball to War to Manhattan

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*A Turnabout: Lawyer Must Pay Patient

As you have heard before from me, Orange County is not only one of the most litigious counties in California, but in the entire nation. So any good news on lawsuits from here or elsewhere is welcome. A reader sent me an abstract about a lawyer having to pay a patient in a medical malpractice case. The story goes something like this (abstract shortened and modified for clarity). The patient went to a Fairfax (Virginia) gynecology clinic, when she felt firmness in her breasts. A mammogram was performed that was of poor technical quality. It was sent to the Northern Virginia Breast Imaging Center, where a radiologist, for a $12 fee, read it as negative. Later when her husband saw puckered skin on her breast she went to different doctors. The new doctors told her she had cancer that had spread to many lymph nodes. The patient decided to sue and took her case to a medical malpractice lawyer. The lawyer consulted medical experts and sued the radiologist, clinic, and the center. The suit asked for $1 million, the maximum permitted under Virginia law. The patient’s attorney, Benjamin W. Glass III, lost the only copy of the mammogram. Without the X-rays, Glass told the plaintiff there would be no case, and the malpractice suit was dropped. The patient finally got her day in court. An Alexandria jury ordered attorney Glass to pay her $1 million. Glass said. “I’m actually glad Vicki won her case. If anybody deserves to be compensated, she is the one.” Glass said his own malpractice insurance company, the American National Lawyers Insurance Reciprocal, is responsible for paying the judgment. Maybe this will start a trend! If only the Lawyers Insurance Reciprocal could be ordered to pay more of the judgments in Newport Beach.

 *Oh No Not Again!

 It’s only the end of the second week (make that the third week) of the season and the Angels are already in a batting slump. At the time of writing this column the Angels are 3-9. This year the problem is not so much the lack of relief pitching as the lack of effective starting pitchers and the inability to get hits with runners in scoring position. The Angels may be suffering from a bizarre condition, “Power-o-mania,” which is too many power hitters in one lineup. Power hitters like Hamilton, Pujols, Trout and Trumbo should ultimately hit 25-30 home runs per season. But, if history is any indication, each of these hitters will strike out 100-125 plus times. Strikeouts don’t knock in runs. Sometimes lesser batters who hit singles, bunts, sacrifice flies or ground balls to the right side of the infield will drive in more runs. At the end of April, when hitters start catching up with pitchers, let’s hope the Angels will start hitting with runners in scoring position. Otherwise look for some major changes as in ”Goodbye Manager Mike.”

 * Playing Sports for L.A. is Dangerous

 In one week Angel Jered Weaver (P) fell off the mound and broke his elbow, Dodger Zack Greinke (P) had a fight and broke his left clavicle while Laker Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles tendon. All three teams lost their star players for indefinite periods. All professional athletes in L.A. should increase their catastrophic medical insurance now before they walk under a ladder.

 * Rules of War

Every year since I entered Planet Earth there has always been some type of war going on. We have Laws of War, Rules of War and Rules of Engagement. The quagmire, which continues to confound me, is the following: If the people of the world are civilized enough to write these laws and rules, why aren’t we civilized enough not to go to war in the first place? It’s as if we openly agree to kill each other while trying to be being considerate about it. What we do need is for all countries to get together and write Laws of Non-Warfare.

 * Another Brookism

While visiting in Manhattan, Brooke our 4-year-old granddaughter, walked into the living room to show her mom the pieces of a plastic crown (sometimes come with party dresses) that she found broken into multiple pieces. My daughter, Jennifer, confessed that she had accidentally stepped on it. Brooke self-righteously responded, “You should be more careful when you’re walking around and look where you’re stepping.” It was so funny that initially we didn’t hear mom’s retort of telling Brooke that if she didn’t leave her stuff lying around it wouldn’t get stepped on.

Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., Newport Beach, is a multiple award-winning writer and an ornery curmudgeon who writes for The NBI.com. His e-mail is [email protected]

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