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Medical error can have devastating effects. Here, in their own words, Connecticut families tell the stories of how medical error changed their lives forever.

Brian Reich

Five years ago Sydney was born. Because of poor judgment she was born with cerebral palsy.

Sydney has been deprived of many of the activities that are experienced by other children. Sydney has yet to enjoy and probably will not ever enjoy any individual activity and pleasures that we all take for granted. She cannot dress herself; she cannot walk by herself, she cannot feed or communicate very well; she cannot brush her own teeth or bathe herself and she cannot even go to the potty by herself.

On the other hand, she gets to participate in many activities that children with normal physical development don't experience. Sydney gets to have two hours every week of speech therapy, two hours each week of physical therapy; two hours each week of occupational therapy and 45 minutes of aqua therapy and another hour of hippotherapy.

If Sydney were to be compensated for her loss of play time, family time and school time at a modest $10.00 an hour, her total lifetime compensation would be more than the proposed cap and that's only a very small part of her pain and suffering.

I do not believe that there is a limit on the amount that is due to an individual that has been put into a prison within their own body or has suffered other permanent injury due to the negligence of a medical professional. I do believe that the insurance companies have done a great job in playing the doctors against the injured patient. They get to enjoy their profits and generous salaries at the expense of the physician or the injured.

Recently, many doctors have said that they have been forced into early retirement due to rising insurance premiums. In my industry, trucking, I have seen many trucking companies close operations due to exorbitant insurance increases. Just four years ago the average yearly premium per truck was about $4,500 and today that premium is about $10,000 - a 220% increase.

Yet 15 of the top 25 paid executives in the Hartford area are in the insurance industry with 2002 compensations of up to $9.58 million with an average increase of 149% in only one year. The insurance industry is the ultimate beneficiary while both permanently injured patients and good doctors are being financially penalized.


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