Monday, September 21, 2009

The Global Reach of America's Tort Lawyers

Zurich University Hospital has stopped treating North American "medical tourists," fearing million-dollar claims from litigious patients if operations go wrong. Hospitals in canton Valais have also adopted measures to protect themselves against visitors from the United States, Canada and Britain.

"The directive applies only to patients from the US and Canada who come to Zurich for elective, non-essential health treatments," said Zurich University Hospital spokeswoman Petra Seeburger.

"It is not because treatment is not financed; it is because of different legal systems." In a statement the hospital said it was "not prepared to risk astronomical damages or a massive increase in premiums." Seeburger emphasised that the restrictions only affected people not domiciled in Switzerland.

7 Comments:

At 9/21/2009 7:51 AM, Blogger Finance said...

Canada, Britain and the U.S.? Who knew that Canada and Britain were litigious? Something doesn't make sense here, Canada does not have a tort problem, there are no multi-million dollar awards here!

Very strange

 
At 9/21/2009 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this site because it contains contradictory messages.

If the Swiss refuse to take us, and the claim is that is because of medical malpractice, look at the posting just below this one which lists the costs of procedures in other countries.

Those countries take US citizens, offer a lower price, and are not worried about malpractice. You can either believe what the Swiss say, or believe what the medical tourism countries do--accept US citizens and charge them a lower price, even considering potential malpractice.

Take your pick of alternative realities.

 
At 9/21/2009 9:02 AM, Anonymous LoneSnark said...

Those countries may politically limit their citizens exposure to foreign malpractice. If it is the case that these countries refuse extradition to the U.S. of criminals, I doubt they will enforce civil judgements of the U.S.

 
At 9/21/2009 9:02 AM, Blogger 1 said...

Someone mentioned something like a $300K cap limit regarding awards...

A little googling and I found this: The maximum awards in Canada for a young person who is made quadriplegic for pain and suffering is just less than $300,000. So your range would be somewhere between zero and $300,000 for her pain on that item only...

Interesting...

 
At 9/21/2009 9:34 AM, Blogger Michael said...

May the Swiss are just as bad at geography as Americans. Maybe it was easier for them to say no to North Americans than to figure out what countries are in North America and then put restrictions based at the country level.

On the other hand, swiss medicine is socialized medicine and socialized medicine can't afford trial lawyers.

 
At 9/21/2009 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To solve this 1 a binding waiver of medical liablity except under swiss law. 2 Be sure you have no assets in the US, so US courts have to go abroad. With 1 the Swiss courts would not enforce a US judgement.
As to other countries it is likely the medical practices have no assets in the US and good luck getting a US judgement enforced in local courts. I recall when I went diving in the Cayman Islands the waiver said that the dive company had no assets in the US to make you aware that you had no chance to recover in US courts.

 
At 9/26/2009 2:34 PM, Blogger John_David_Galt said...

I'm surprised that countries such as Switzerland which want to encourage "medical tourism" don't just pass laws refusing to enforce foreign court judgments against their doctors and hospitals.

After all, American states are beginning to refuse to enforce suits brought under Britain's libel laws against American media.

 

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