"It's sad to say, but most attorneys I know won't take a dead-baby case."
Those are the words of Linda Fermoyle Rice, a well-known California medical malpractice attorney. A recent LA Times article discusses recovery caps in medical malpractice cases and the effect on lawyers. The skinny: many attorneys will not take on certain cases because the caps do not make it financially viable to do so. I can't imagine turning away the parents of a dead baby. At the same time, I can't imagine working on a case that does not have enough potential recovery money to satisfy my fees and the family's needs. This is truly a lose-lose situation (though it is ripe for public policy arguments on either side).
Pro bono work may be an option for these families, but that is a stopgap measure at best. Legislative action may offer a solution, but I'm not going to hold my breath because the recovery caps were a legislative invention in the first place. That leaves practicing lawyers on the front lines turning away clients in need of legitimate representation. Ugg, the bottom line can be a bit of a mood killer. Maybe that is why we don't cover similar situations during career service workshops.