Song by Texas lawyers Will Hutson and Chris Harris. I haven’t researched this myself, but it seems like an interesting topic you don’t hear that much about. Song lyrics in italics.

Chris: I’m just fucking with you, man. Ready? Hey Will.

Will: Hey Chris.

Don’t call us with medical malpractice cases
Unless they happened outside of Texas
Because we voted for tort reform down here
So our doctors can kill us with zero fear

Don’t call us with your med mal cases
Tort reform made them go away
We were sold a bill of goods and we bought it
And we’re still paying for it every single day.

Will: Hi, Will Hudson here.

Chris: And I’m Chris Harris. Back in 2003, the Texas insurance industry and four wealthy businessmen promoted tort reform.

Will: Or better known as lawsuit reform.

Chris: Which was so bad that they couldn’t even get the Texas legislature to pass it, because it would have been unconstitutional. So what did they do? They got us, the voters of Texas, to pass it as a constitutional amendment.

Will: After all, if it’s in the Constitution, it can’t be unconstitutional.

Chris: The insurance industry told us that the reason healthcare costs were spiraling out of control and doctors were leaving the state, was because of all the frivolous lawsuits being filed against doctors. This was a lie. Plaintiff’s attorneys have always taken medical malpractice cases on contingency, which means they only get paid if they win. They never have taken frivolous med mal cases because these cases are incredibly expensive, costing the plaintiff’s lawyer between $50,000 and $100,000 out of his own pocket. We don’t have that kind of money to waste on a case.

Will: It’s not like we’re doctors or something.

Chris: These cases are heavily defended by some of the best lawyers in the country, and anybody who thinks that an insurance company just writes a check to make a lawsuit go away, has been lied to. It doesn’t happen, and it never did. So…

Don’t call us with medical malpractice cases
Unless they happened outside of Texas
Tort reform was based on a pack of lies
And you’ll get an education when someone dies

Don’t call us with your med mal cases
It breaks our hearts every single time
We have to tell you that your lawsuit has no merit
Even after a loved one has died

Chris: After tort reform in Texas, it rarely makes sense – financial sense – for a lawyer to take a medical malpractice case, even if there’s clear negligence.

Will: Can you give us an example?

Chris: Sure. Let’s say you take your eight year old daughter to the ER, because she’s complaining of acute pain near where her appendix is. The ER doctor looks at her and he says, well I think she’s got a broken finger, take her home and give her some Advil. Following this advice, you take your child home, her appendix ruptures and she dies. Well in that lawsuit, if everything goes perfectly, the most you could possibly recover after tort reform would be $250,000. Which may sound like a tidy sum, except your lawyer has to recoup that hundred thousand dollars in expenses that he risked on your behalf.

Will: And that comes right off the top.

Chris: And, since no attorney’s fees are allowed under the law, the only way your lawyer can be paid for his years of work is out of that same $250,000. That means after a complete and total legal victory, you’ve lost your child and now you have a whopping $50,000. You’re going to be extremely angry. And contrary to popular belief, most lawyers are human beings and we really have no interest in taking a case where the client is furious even after a win.

Don’t call us with medical malpractice cases
Unless they happened outside of Texas
Because we voted for tort reform down here
We’d really love to help you, but we’d starve, so…

We’re not taking your med mal cases
They’re frivolous now and you will lose
And even if we win
(Which we probably won’t)
You’ll just hate us and think we cheated you

Chris: Oh, and I left out the worst part of that example. You can’t even sue an ER doc in Texas for negligence.

Will: It’s literally against the law.

Chris: You can only sue an ER doc for gross negligence. Will, what is negligence?

Will: Negligence would be driving down the road while texting.

Chris: And what is gross negligence?

Will: Gross negligence is driving down the road at 100 miles per hour, going in the opposite direction, into oncoming traffic, with a blindfold, smoking crack, while texting. You may not mean to kill anybody, but, you know, it’s highly likely.

Chris: Right. It’s basically impossible to prove that a doctor was grossly negligent. However, if you can provide us with a blood alcohol test proving that your doctor was drunk when he treated you –

Will: – And texting –

Chris: – And you have over $500,000 in lost wages due to his negligence, we want to talk to you. Otherwise …

Don’t call us with medical malpractice cases
Unless they happened outside of Texas
Because we voted for tort reform down here
But our healthcare costs went up
(We took it in the rear)

Don’t call us with your med mal cases
There’s literally nothing we can do
Except refer you to other Texas lawyers
Who will tell you the same thing too

Will: Hey, but at least healthcare costs went down in Texas, right?

Chris: (Laughter) No, that didn’t happen.