PA Medical Society Responds to Trial Lawyers Charges over PMSLIC

March 18, 2002

The Pennsylvania Medical Society responded in no uncertain terms to the accusations of impropriety made by the state’s trial lawyers association involving the relationship between the Society and the Pennsylvania Medical Society Liability Insurance Company (PMSLIC). (See IJ Website March 13)

The PMS’ executive VP Roger F. Mecum stated, “We’re never surprised when the lobbying group for personal injury lawyers creates smokescreens to derail lawsuit abuse reforms. Therefore we weren’t at all surprised when representatives of the Pennsylvania Trial lawyers Association sent out a statement today regarding the relationship between the Pennsylvania Medical Society and PMSLIC.”

Mecum indicated that the sale of the Society’s majority interest in PMSLIC had resulted in “a positive gain for all Pennsylvanians.”

NORCAL Mutual Ins. Co., the new majority owner, has “invested significant money in PMSLIC to build reserves,” Mecum noted, “at a time when insurers are leaving the state due to lawsuit abuse.

The money received from the sale has been placed in an endowment fund “that cannot be touched for ordinary operating expenses,” Mecum stated. “This endowment will ensure continued advocacy for the patient-doctor relationship, whether for public health issues, bioterrorism, or lawsuit abuse reforms.” Its already been tapped to fund beneficial community projects throughout the state.

Mecum indicated that there had never been any concealment of PMS’ position regarding PMSLIC, and that a recent tax audit had “found nothing improper.”

Mecum charged that the trial lawyers “will do anything to derail lawsuit abuse reforms,” and blamed the fact that 70 percent of the malpractice claims they file are either dropped, dismissed, or result in a verdict for the defendants, for increasing medical costs “to every Pennsylvanian.” He waned that unless reforms were passed personal injury lawyers would continue to “enjoy an environment that enhances their 40 percent cut of awards and settlements as they pursue unlimited jackpot jury awards.

Editors note:
According to PMS Media and Public Relations Director Chuck Moran, the PMS response to the trial lawyers charges appeared within hours. Unfortunately it wasn’t available when the original article appeared, or it would have been included. The PA legislature did subsequently pass a bill that includes some “lawsuit abuse reforms.” ( See IJ Website March 14)

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