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    Wednesday, January 31, 2007

    Good Work if You Can Get It: A person sure can make a lot of money by suing people:

    Knight approved the building plans that showed the Edwards home totaling 28,200 square feet of connected space. The main house is 10,400 square feet and has two garages. The recreation building, a red, barn-like building containing 15,600 square feet, is connected to the house by a closed-in and roofed structure of varying widths and elevations that totals 2,200 square feet.

    The main house is all on one level except for a 600-square-foot bedroom and bath area above the guest garage.

    The recreation building contains a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, a bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, swimming pool, a four-story tower, and a room designated “John’s Lounge.”

    Why does he need two stages?

    Now remember, tort reform is bad because it harms the average citizen's ability to obtain justice for wrongs done. It's not about trial lawyer profits.

    posted by Sydney on 1/31/2007 09:12:00 PM 11 comments


    Wow great big hopefully cozy home, so how many people are going to live there?

    By Blogger cliffy, at 10:51 PM  


    I believe John Edwards and his wife have three children, one of whom is grown or nearly grown. That would be five people unless they're planning to have all their relations move in with them, too.

    By Blogger sydney, at 5:29 AM  

    Should we just cite examples of rich doctors to show that we don't need tort "reform"? Doctors are the world's highest paid profession, after all.

    Is Bill Frist living in a two bedroom apartment?

    Surely you can do better than this sad class envy bit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:25 PM  

    Here's Bill Frist's house. The neighbors make fun of it, but it's only on 4.3 acres and looks like it might fit in the rec center attached to the Edwards' home.

    I think you would be hard pressed to find a physician who is as rich as John Edwards unless it was a physician who invented something or who is the CEO of an insurance company.

    It isn't class envy, either. It's the way he gets his money that's appalling.

    By Blogger sydney, at 6:19 PM  

    Amen to that, Sydney. Actually, here is the annual return on investment for various professions:

    Primary care physicians: 15.9%
    Dentists 20.7%
    Medical specialists: 20.9%
    Attorneys 25.4%
    Business majors 29.0%

    "The lower returns are due to much higher training costs, especially 7 to 12 years of foregone income, and the resulting shorter payoff periods."

    From: Henderson, James W. Health Economics and Policy

    By Anonymous danie, at 6:41 PM  

    "It isn't class envy, either. It's the way he gets his money that's appalling."

    What way would that be? Was the insurance company in Valerie Lakey's case, for example, looking to pay the multimillions for her past and future medical care before the family hired a lawyer?

    Were the doctors who the juries found negligent in his cases offering to pay the money for the care for the victims before he got involved? Based on your review of the evidence in those cases, how many were wrongly decided?

    If it's the "way" he makes his money that you find abhorrent, why don't you deal with the facts of those cases, rather than how much money he has. By fussing about the size of his house, you are obviously attempting to stir up class envy, and not interested in the merits of the cases.

    By the way, US physicians are the highest paid profession in the world by 50% over the next highest, lawyers. Where are your posts of insurance execs homes? If I post the picture of the 8000 sq ft. home a physician is building down the road from me, will that have some bearing on the political debates of the cost of health care? Or will it simply be trying to stir up class envy?

    I look forward to your FACTUAL explanation of the individual cases Mr. Edwards tried.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:34 PM  

    anonymous 9:34
    People do not go into medicine for the money. Th A simple snapshot of who makes what in a given year does not tell the whole story, which is why I posted the above statistics. For instance, does your figure include residents? How about all that extra schooling where doctors are running a large negative number on their personal balance sheets? If the person who dies with the most money wins, then clearly physicians lose because they get such a late start with a very large handicap in the form of student loans. I myself would recommend realty. Realtors make more (in a given year) than lawyers, less than doctors and have minimal educational expenditures. Given the time value of money, they come out way, way ahead.

    Furthermore, you have quoted anecdotes. Isolated cases do not accurately represent any situation, much less the life's work of a lawyer, or doctor for that matter. And, unless one is involved in a legal case, one most certainly does not know the fact, especially if a case is settled out of court. Also, the Lakey case wasn't even a malpractice case! It was, however, a demonstration in judicial incompetence.

    Depending on the venue and the state laws, many insurance companies will not attempt to try cases under any circumstances. In my state, no one can even remember the last time a case was tried. Since, in 75% of the cases that go to trial, the doctor "wins" (actually he always loses, winning being a rather relative term); and even taking into account the ones that should be settled, it likely means that in most settlements the provider is not at fault.

    A lawyer's winnings are a great reflection of his skill as a lawyer, not the merits of his case. Do we know how many cases that had merit Edwards wouldn't take because the payout was too low? That's a figure we ought to know (and never will know) before we go trumpeting him as a defender of the common man.

    I do agree that the insurance companies are a very big problem. The liability situation in this country is out of control from beginning to end. One interesting fact is that for every dollar paid in premiums, only ten or twenty cents will ever be paid to an injured party. Doctors are supporting a whole industry of experts, lawyers and insurance companies, and it's the patient who loses in the end.

    By Anonymous danie, at 9:55 AM  

    One can endlessly argue the merits of John Edwards' profession but one fact is quite clear. His work does nothing to improve the quality of health care or to reduce its costs.

    The legal system really cannot do either of those things because its focus is after the fact i.e., on torts. Some of its practitioners can enrich themselves by circling and waiting for the inevitable errors. But compensation for an avoidable medical error ranks a distant second to avoiding the error in the first place. Lawyers can't do that. Only physicians and other health care professionals and administrators (I don't include insurance companies or politicians in those categories) can do that.

    BTW, a football field, not including the end zones, is 100 yards long by about 53 yards wide and contains 48,000 square feet. Watch tomorrow and see if that's not true. So John Edward's house is larger than half a football field - all paid for by doctors, I'm sure he thanks you every day.

    John Fembup

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:48 PM  

    "His work does nothing to improve the quality of health care or to reduce its costs."

    Nor is is supposed to. It's supposed to compensate those injured by another's negligence for the harm caused by the negligent party.

    "So John Edward's house is larger than half a football field - all paid for by doctors, I'm sure he thanks you every day."

    Again, not true. His biggest case ever involved a swimming pool drain that sucked a little girl's intestines through her rectum. And even in the cases against negligent doctors that he won, it was most likely their insurer paying.

    But hey, injured people like Valerie Lakey don't deserve good lawyers, do they?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:11 PM  

    "A lawyer's winnings are a great reflection of his skill as a lawyer, not the merits of his case."

    This claim is based on. . . ? Do you people deal in facts anymore?

    "Depending on the venue and the state laws, many insurance companies will not attempt to try cases under any circumstances."

    How many lawsuits have you settled against insurers? I assume many, if you've reached this conclusion.

    As for the Lakey case, I find it interesting that you would take the word of the corporate lobbyists at Overlawyered over a judge who really has no stake in the case. If the judge was truly so incompetent, don't you think that the defense lawyers might have pointed that out on appeal? Or the appellate court might have noticed it as well? Or were they incompetent as well?

    Realtors come out ahead of doctors? Were you sober when you posted?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:17 PM  

    "it was most likely their insurer paying."

    Oh, yeah, I forgot. Good point.

    When an insurance company pays, there is no cost to anyone except, of course to the insurance company. Dontcha wonder why insurance companies charge premiums in the first place?

    Thanks for hippin us, dude.

    John Fembup

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:05 PM  

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