Thomas Balzac
3 min readDec 16, 2022


I didn't realize lawyers hung out at Medium, certainly not med-mal ones very cool. My first Medium stories -- working title is: "Lawyers Who Help Doctors to get Away With Murder" -- were an attempt to explain Louisiana's "med-mal factory" set up 50 years ago by lawyer-Legislators as a way to subsidize provider liability-insurance costs (else: "they're gonna 'flee the State!' - "practice 'defensive medicine!') etc.

The Act created a "Fund" to pay-off malpractice claims beyond the measly $100,000 policies that medical providers need to join this quasi-State "Fund" (which pays-out the "excess damages" up to another, capped, $400K).

This "Fund" has grown from a few million to $1.5-Billion, and all the greedy lawyers (from both sides of the bar) are treating it like their personal cookie jar "everybody gets 'Funds' but the patients for whom it was created," I argue. Legislators had also claimed this scam "will improve medical outcomes" for Louisiana citizens. That was 50 years ago, and today we remain at the bottom rungs of the medical outcome ladder).

I'm in multiple courts presently arguing the Act is unconstitutional. I don't know about where ever you practice, but it takes on average almost 5 years before people who believe they were medically-harmed to obtain the "medical-panel opinion" mandated before a lawsuit can be filed. The quasi-State agency in charge of the Fund states that fact in its Annual Reports.

I'm arguing that 5 years wait before citizens can file a tort suit violates the La. Constitution (art.1/sec.22) (reasonable "access to courts"). The billion-dollar "Patient's Fund" that only the lawyers are dipping into, is totally illegal today. It controls the pace of the pre-suit claims (that's why on average they take 5 years). The fewer claims that are settled each year, means the more money in interest payments that goes into the Fund, as well as "investment income" (which they refused to provide in my FOIA request a few years ago).

Kentucky overturned their panels for a similar reason (deprived citizens of "reasonable" court access) a few years ago; Florida too, saying their Legislature's "caps" on damages was unconstitutional.

The court-access issue alone should do it, except there's no plaintiffs' lawyers in the State to help me. I'm not an attorney, although I was a CCH hornbook editor and worked as a paralegal 20 years. I know just enough law to have a fool for a client. I was also once a journalist, so know how to write legal briefs.

The Big Boy attorneys in New Orleans and Baton Rouge (the law firms in high towers) are all too scared to go up against Big Med. I testified in court that 100 or so lawyers I've spoken to declined rep because of "the cap" or the fact the pre-suit claim process ("the med-mal factory") takes too long compared to the investment required.

I tell the courts lawyers are either too poor or too scared to go up against Big Med (I'm suing La.'s biggest hospital system, which includes a directly related "patient-dumping" suit, seeking $50-million, requesting class status (for systemic patient-dumping when patients acquire infections ("to hide the evidence"). ProPublica wrote an expose' a couple years ago about the same hospital system "dumping" patients who presented themselves at their ED with Covid (they were sent home, to nursing homes, etc., rather than treated).

The federal suit would have been tossed out 5 years ago if it was not viable; that court ruled it wanted me to finish the State court nightmare before returning to federal (which will then handle both the med-mal plus the patient-dumping/emtala)....

Well, I write all this, I forget why, I think to illustrate how hard it is to write a "simple" story about why medically-harmed citizens find it almost impossible to find attorney representation in Louisiana. You have one year to file a pre-suit claim that takes 5 years to process. Sure, the never-events like wrong-amputation, lawyers will take those, but not the general disputed, med-mal suit....

I'll look for more "Worst Med-Mal Cases" from you, thanks for the read, GrandFools.