A rather interesting case came up recently in which a Florida medical attorney is challenging the court imposed limits on the “3 strikes and you’re out” amendment. The amendment was enacted in 2004 in an attempt to protect the public from dangerous doctors; however there are currently limits which prevent some medical malpractice court cases from counting as strikes.
In short, the legislation would result in the revocation of any medical professional’s license found guilty of medical malpractice three times. Not surprisingly, following the voting in of the amendment, the medical community was alarmed and fought back. The amendment was then modified to indicate that only court cases and arbitration would count as a “strike” if they were upheld by the Board of Medicine.
Additionally, the amendment doesn’t take into account medical malpractice cases that are settled between the physician and the victim. A doctor could essentially be involved in dozens of cases of medical negligence, but if they choose to settle, they have no bearing on the legislation.
Orlando medical lawyer Scott McMillen feels that this limitation renders the amendment virtually useless because it “takes away from citizens and courts the ultimate decision regarding what counts as a strike”. He is fighting back for victims’ rights and is attempting to get judges to back him and send the case to the Florida Supreme Court.
McMillen’s tactic is to use a real-life example of a situation in which the “3 strikes” amendment could potentially have prevented a child’s foot from being amputated, had it worked in the way in which he feels it was meant to. Loopholes in the legislation allowed Dr. Oludapo Soremi to perform surgery on 9 year old Thomas Burn’s ankle. Just weeks later the boy’s foot had to be amputated due to medical negligence.
The case itself is compelling, and deserves support from anyone who will require medical treatment in the future and it will be interesting to see how it pans out. Further information will be reported here when it becomes available.