A statement regarding the Arkansas Supreme Court's decision to throw Issue 1 off the ballot

“Our campaign is disappointed to see Issue 1 taken off the ballot. While we respect that the court had no choice but to remove it because it was written so poorly and was designed to force the voters into one vote on multiple issues, we had hoped that it would stay on the ballot so Arkansans could speak loud and clear to the special interests pushing Issue 1.” said Chad Gallagher, campaign consultant for Protect AR Families. “In recent independent, third-party polling Arkansans were opposed to Issue 1 by a 2-1 margin. We are encouraged that every day working Arkansas families, faith leaders, veterans and others all recognized that Issue 1 was bad for Arkansas because it puts a one size fits all arbitrary price tag on human life and it favors special interests over people. We are so proud of Arkansans for standing up against the swamp politics of corrupt special interests. While the campaign for votes in November ends, we will remain vigilant in working with Arkansans to protect citizen rights and Arkansas values.”

Weed-killing chemical linked to cancer found in some children's breakfast foods

CBS News 8/15/18

A new report found glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical that some health authorities link to cancer, in a number of popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children. The study by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) discovered trace amounts of the most widely used herbicide in the country in oats, granolas and snack bars. Thirty-one out of 45 tested products had levels higher than what some scientists consider safe for children…

"We don't think it does enough in particular to protect children," Faber said. "It is time now for them to step up and do their jobs to ban glyphosate," said Zen Honeycutt, who heads Moms Across America, a group formed to raise awareness about toxic exposures. Her family switched to an organic-only diet after her three sons developed allergies and other health problems. "We want to trust that what is in the grocery store is safe and the shocking reality is that in many cases it's not," Honeycutt said.

Pay No Attention to 'Dr. Death' (Gwen Moritz Editor's Note)

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018 12:00 am   3 min read

It remains to be seen whether the state Supreme Court will reinstate Issue 1 on next month’s statewide ballot. For proponents of the tort reform amendment, the success of a podcast called “Dr. Death” could not come at a worse time. Perhaps not too many voters will tune in. Maybe even fewer will make it to the last chapter of the disturbing story…

But if you listen to the final chapter of the story, Episode 6, you’ll learn that another impediment to the public learning about the butchery of “Dr. Death” was the difficulty injured patients and their survivors had in finding lawyers who would represent them in civil court. That, Beil reported, is because Texas adopted tort reform in 2003 that limited noneconomic damages (“pain and suffering”) to $250,000. “It is not worth an attorney’s time and energy to take on a malpractice case in the state of Texas,” one of Duntsch’s victims told Beil.

Despite an increase in population of more than 25 percent since 2003, the number of malpractice claims filed across Texas each year has dropped by more than half. Not the number of successful claims or the size of the verdicts, but the number of patients who even filed suit…

Ultimately, Beil reported, at least 19 of Duntsch’s patients (or their survivors) got settlements; 14 were represented by the same lawyer “more out of a sense of outrage than out of any financial upside.”

Issue 1 would cap noneconomic damages in Arkansas at $500,000, which would certainly be more attractive to lawyers than Texas’ cap. But Issue 1 also forbids lawyers from taking a contingency fee of more than one-third of the net amount awarded to the client. Proponents sell that as more money for the plaintiff, which is certainly true if it doesn’t discourage lawyers from taking the case in the first place.

NWA EDITORIAL: A compassionate step

Benton County right to pay injured womanby NWA DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE | October 6, 2018 at 1:00 a.m.

It's not always about what you're required to do. Sometimes, it's about what you ought to do.

Two weeks removed from giving birth to a son, Teresa Ayala's world literally came crashing down around her. When she laid down with her baby for a nap in the living room of her Monte Ne home on June 6, how could she or anyone have known she wouldn't be able, on her own, to get back up?…

State law provides the county with immunity from injury lawsuits. The theory, we suppose, is that the county, as well as city and state governments, are out there doing the work expected of them by the public. Their activities are for public service, not profit. For government to engage in the inherent risks of developing vital amenities like public parks, trails, streets and other facilities designed to achieve public purposes, it doesn't make sense to allow them to be sued with every incident. Lawmakers recognize that government, to do its job, needs protection from lawsuits.

But right is right.

That is why the Benton County Quorum Court unanimously approved a $1.5 million payment to Ayala at a recent meeting. With the immunity protection, the county's insurance coverage would have provided Ayala with a fraction of that.

What the tests don’t show

Doctors are surprisingly bad at reading lab results. It’s putting us all at risk.

By Daniel Morgan OCTOBER 5, 2018

The man was 66 when he came to the hospital with a serious skin infection. He had a fever and low blood pressure, as well as a headache. His doctors gave him a brain scan just to be safe. They found a very small bulge in one of his cranial arteries, which probably had nothing to do with his headache or the infection. Nevertheless, doctors ordered an angiogram to get images of brain blood vessels. This test, in which doctors insert a plastic tube into a patient’s arteries and inject dye, found no evidence of any blood vessel problems. But the dye injection caused multiple strokes, leading to permanent issues with the man’s speech and memory…

But my research has found that many physicians misunderstand test results or think tests are more accurate than they are. Doctors especially fail to grasp how false positives work, which means they make crucial medical decisions — sometimes life-or-death calls — based on incorrect assumptions that patients have ailments that they probably don’t. When we do this without understanding the science of risk and probability, we unacceptably increase the chances of making the wrong choice. In the worst cases, as with the man whose angiogram caused otherwise avoidable strokes, we increase the odds of unnecessarily putting patients in danger.

A statement regarding today’s court decision throwing Issue 1 off the ballot


Our campaign is not involved in the legal challenge regarding Issue One. While that plays out through the court system, we will continue to work with Arkansans all over the state who have joined our cause to beat this terrible amendment that takes power from the people and proposes to place a value on human life in our constitution. We are confident in a November victory if this amendment is on the ballot.

MIKE MASTERSON: The size of a lifetime

Price of life

It was predictable that lawyers would be lining up to file civil actions seeking at least $100 million against the owner of the duck boat that sank in a storm on Missouri's Table Rock Lake two weeks ago. Seventeen of the 31 aboard died, including four children and five other members from one Indiana family.

What were their lives worth? If Issue 1 as proposed on Arkansas' November ballot was law in Missouri, an arbitrary price tag of $500,000 would be imposed on the value of the life of every child and person lost in the tragedy. Our trial-by-jury system basically would be rigged since jurors would no longer be able to evaluate the egregiousness of the conduct. The artificial limit set by Issue 1 would apply to all, regardless of age or occupation.

As basically common-sense folks, I believe our voters will continue to trust Arkansas jurors to decide these important issues, rather than politicians and the special interests who influence them. A one-size-fits-all price tag on the value of human life is immoral and shameful.

Arkansans Oppose Issue 1. PARF Focused on November Defeat of Price-on-Life Amendment

From day one, this campaign has been laser-focused on defeating Issue 1, The Price on Life Amendment, at the ballot box. Our campaign is committed to winning this election. While the courts sort through this challenge, our fight to protect Arkansas families will continue. Issue 1, if passed, will place a government mandated, one-size fits all  value on human life in our state constitution, and it will put more power in the hands of the corrupt political powers in the legislative swamp. Arkansans can trust their neighbors on local juries to be honest and fair long before they can corrupt politicians and their cronies. While investigations, indictments and corruption continues at the capitol, Arkansans understand that Issue One must be stopped because putting a fixed price on any life is always wrong. We are committed to waging a vigorous campaign that delivers a big win for the people over the politicians in November.