1. Archive

Lawyers' ad for victims does a sleazy disservice to hospital

Editor: I am writing to condemn the unethical, "ambulance-chasing" conduct of Crystal River lawyers David Best and Dutch Anderson. As I see it, their advertising in the local print media for "phantom victims" is an attempt to use the recent unfortunate occurrences at Citrus Memorial Hospital for their own profit, and in so doing they seem to be uncaring of the many fine men and women at CMH who will be victims of the doubt they create with the "shotgun approach" of their impending class-action suit.

I have nothing but the deepest concern for the true victims of this episode. However, such frivolous actions as that taken by these attorneys are sure to bring forward claims from those only too eager to add their names to any cause that might mean they will profit financially, whether they were actually injured parties or not.

Class-action suits have merit when a body of victims has readily identifiable cause to seek relief. They do not, in my opinion, have merit when they serve to create undue concern on the part of women whose only common connection is that they were in CMH during a certain time frame and might have been in the presence of nurse Bruce Alan Young.

It is far more appropriate for each person who feels she might have been victimized to seek individual redress through the court system and let each case stand on its own merit. It is not atypical for attorneys in class-action proceedings to reap 50 percent of the court-allotted award, and the more people involved, the bigger the lawyers' slice of the pie.

All this at the expense of an institution that serves this community and has served this community well for many decades without a hint of scandal. It is not impossible that, if the client base responding to the newspaper ad is large enough, CMH could be unjustly saddled with many claims unprovable in any individual court. That could serve to bankrupt CMH and deprive the community of the service of many fine doctors, nurses and technicians.

At the very least, even the legitimate cases are going to force the increase in cost of services for all Citrus residents to permit the hospital to continue.

In closing, I would like to say shame on the media that allowed the "praying mantis" advertisement to appear on their pages (the Times rejected the ad) in the first place. Those who ran the ad did a great disservice by adding the credence of print to this cause.

Robert Zontini


Let's open ideas on curriculum

Editor: Maybe it is time for our school system to step outside Citrus County and look at some other solutions to ongoing dilemmas, in particular its currently unresolved curriculum discussions over the use of imagery, visioning etc. in the classroom and often identified in the self-esteem programs.

Why could we not start to meet the needs of parents, teachers and, most important, students by offering more than one set countywide curriculum? There are other schools in the country that do so by establishing schools within schools, or on another campus, as needed.

In using one physical plant they have sub-schools within. There can be a wing or section of strict, regimented basic curriculum (uniforms etc.), another area given over to a strong music/art theme, and another segment of students versed in a heavy science/math curriculum.

This would enable our parents to have the choice they are asking for. It would let our teachers teach the courses in their field along their own creative lines.

Many parents watched the year-round-school plan for Lecanto Primary School wash down the drain because they couldn't muster enough backing. Yet there were many parents who did not want to give it a try. Why aren't we letting other options such as this one be tried?

If we are to successfully prepare our children for the 21st century by prepping them with critical thinking skills and the ability to creatively handle new and tough situations, then it's time for us to model some of these attributes for them.

I heard someone raise the question on Jeb Bush and his voucher proposals for education and how it will affect our Blueprint 2000 plans. Unless our Blueprint 2000 plans start to show progress, and that means incorporating some of the ideas forthwith, maybe we will be seeing how Bush's voucher system does work.

Rebecca Lanigan