I Stand For Improvement

March 12, 2021

The cells in the human body are replaced every seven years. We are truly not the people we used to be. We change; that is a biological fact.

I think what would surprise most people who have never been involved in a medical malpractice case is that clients don’t come to a lawyer seeking money. They come for answers. They come to make sure what happened to them does not happen to anyone else.

I can share three stories that illustrate this. A man lost his wife, and they had two dogs. Two years into the litigation, the man told me the dogs still lay next to her chair every night as he watched TV. I asked him what he took from this. He told me that his wife was still there, in the chair, making sure that he saw this case through so no one else would suffer her fate.

Another woman had lost her husband of 40 years. As we prepared for her deposition, I asked her why she brought the case to me. I was wholly unprepared for her answer. She told me that she had been driving home a few weeks after her husband died and felt compelled to pull the car left of center into the path of an oncoming truck. She did not, but ever since, she wanted to bring her case to make sure that no one else had to be in that circumstance because maybe they would not have the strength to avoid the oncoming truck.

Finally, I remember a juror who was part of a jury that awarded a multi-million dollar settlement to a woman who lost her husband. I asked the juror how they had come up with the amount. The juror told me they knew no amount could compensate for the loss of the woman’s husband, but they wanted the amount to be high enough, so the hospital made a change in their policy. The jury knew that if the amount was not significant, the hospital would not change.

We all want to make a difference. Sometimes it’s hard to see the difference we make, but we have to keep trying every day. No matter how small the improvement, it can have a profound effect. What I can tell you after 25-plus years involved with medical malpractice cases is that individuals can spur change and improve life for others.

What do I Stand For? I stand for improvement.

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