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  • To Preserve Civil Justice   
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Lessons Learned

Ann S. Jacobs, Past President, Wisconsin Association for Justice

 There is a lesson to be learned for all of us from football. After years of claiming dramatic head blows were just part of the game, the devastation of repeated hits has finally become clear. Reality is even harder to ignore when you realize that hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller collisions in a player’s career can be equally crippling.

The story of what has happened to many NFL veterans plays out dramatically in the new movie, Concussion. As many as one-of-three of our Sunday afternoon heroes are living in a fog. Some have memory lapses. Others were lost in emotional rages. The most tragic committed suicide.

Clearly, most of us will never get near a football field, but we take a similar risk getting behind the wheel of our cars. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says every year nearly 300,000 traumatic brain injuries result from car crashes. The human head is as poorly equipped to handle the impact of a 30-mph traffic accident as when a 300 pound lineman slams into Aaron Rodgers.

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Medical Study: Diagnosis wrong too often, urgent improvements needed

It is a frightening statistic. Most of us will experience at least one wrong or delayed diagnosis at some point our lives. The Institute of Medicine made headlines in the 90's when they estimated as many 98,000 people die annually because of preventable medical mistakes in hospitals. That's compounded now with news of a stunning number of errors that may be happening at the diagnostic stage.

For patients, especially in Wisconsin, it's more evidence of why all of us have to take more responsibility for our own care. Here in Wisconsin, one of the weaknesses is a malpractice law that does nothing to support patient rights.

 Follow this link to an interview with the former President of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, Chris Stombaugh, on why the state's malpractice law is so sadly lacking.



The Power Of Justice

CNN's Michael Smerconish recently aired a compelling commentary on the civil justice system.

Using the GM case as a springboard, Smerconish showed how the Melton family - who lost their daughter in a crash - turned to the courts to find justice both for their family and their daughter.

Smerconish referred to the civil justice system as a check on free enterprise especially when profits take a back seat to safety.

As he so aptly put's all about accountability.



Click for Deposition Testimony