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ATRA Cites NPR’s ‘Story Corps’ in Rebutting Personal Injury Lawyers' Anti-Doctor ‘Propaganda’

Says Dedicated Doctors Do Far More for Patients than Cable TV Trial Lawyers

CONTACT: Darren McKinney

Washington, DC, October 26, 2012 -- An American Tort Reform Association spokesman is pointing to a feature aired on NPR’s Morning Edition today as additional evidence that “doctors do far more for the health and well-being of Americans than opportunistic personal injury lawyers ever will.”

Today’s installment of NPR’s Story Corps, a weekly recording of conversations between ordinary people and their loved ones or others who’ve had a significant impact on their lives, “tells the truly heartwarming tale of a long-evolving relationship between a surgeon and a woman afflicted with a rare bone cancer during childhood,” explained ATRA director of communications, Darren McKinney.

“As I listened to Marcela Gaviria speak so softly and lovingly to her surgeon, Dempsey Springfield, who first operated on her when she was 12 years old and has done so several times since,” McKinney continued, “I couldn’t help but consider the absurdity of all the anti-physician, anti-hospital propaganda that constantly screams at us from the personal injury bar’s high-decibel cable TV ads and other media means. 

“And when Ms. Gaviria, who recently married after believing as a sickly child that she never would, said she’d saved the first dance for Dr. Dempsey, I’m guessing there were few dry eyes among NPR listeners nationwide.  I’m also guessing that few if any new brides have ever saved the first dance for their personal injury lawyer, but I suppose I could be wrong,” McKinney added.

To solidify his point, McKinney cited ATRA’s recent nationwide survey of registered voters.  It indicates 75 percent of voters believe both that jury awards for “pain and suffering” should be reasonably limited, and that personal injury lawyer advertising encourages those who haven’t been injured to file lawsuits anyway.

“Our nation’s dedicated physicians have rightly earned the public’s trust, despite the personal injury bar’s constant, credulity-straining attacks, and despite the often meritless lawsuits that only serve to drive up health care costs for all of us,” McKinney concluded.