xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
As Illinois legislators debate solutions to the rising cost of medical malpractice insurance, newspaper reports from several cities have chronicled the local exodus of neurosurgeons and ob-gyn doctors to avoid the state’s oppressive premiums (typically tripling or quadrupling over the last three years), costs that doctors usually must absorb because of health-insurance contract restrictions. Carbondale brain surgeon Sumeer Lal is moving to South Carolina ($40,000 premium vs. $300,000 in Illinois), and nearly one-fifth of the state’s neurosurgeons are closing this year. These days, said outgoing obstetrician Eileen Murphy of Chicago (who makes $170,000 in salary but pays a $138,000 premium), “if anything goes wrong (in delivery), you can almost guarantee you’re going to be sued.”
Lawyer Larry Feingold, 53, testified at his January trial in New York City that he was merely trying to commit suicide in 2003 when he turned on the gas in his apartment and that the subsequent blast that devastated three floors of his building caught him by surprise because he didn’t know that gas could explode. “I thought gasoline did,” he said, under oath, “but I didn’t know about gas.”
Bromley Preston, 44, filed a claim late last year after he split his head open on the water slide at The Lakes Resort at Berry Springs, in Australia, even though he admits he tried to go down the 100-foot-high slide on all fours instead of on his back, feet first.
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Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD