Trial Lawyers Fight Back on Medical Malpractice

The American Association for Justice, a group representing trial lawyers, has released a series of web videos designed to make the argument that malpractice litigation is important because medial error is real and can be devastating.

The group, Ben Smith reports, is alarmed that tort reform, long a Republican priority, "may re-emerge as grounds for compromise in the health care negotiations."

The videos feature Americans discussing tragedies that have befallen them because of medical error. The one above tells the story of Blake Fought, a 19-year-old who asphyxiated and died because a nurse improperly removed an IV line.

"98,000 patients are killed annually by medical errors," the group says. "That's like two 737s crashing every day for a whole year. Would we blame the passengers or the airlines? Tort law changes won't fix health care. Tell Congress to put patients first. There are 98,000 reasons why you should." The video closes with a plug for a Web site called

According to Smith, the group has only bought Washington-area online ads thus far, "though a source close to the group says they're ready to go on air if fluid talks turn toward tort reform."