Trial Lawyer Blames Tort Reform for Bankruptcy

We can’t make these things up. Shame on those lawmakers for protecting doctors from outrageous malpractice claims.

Thanks to our friends at the North Carolina chamber for alerting us to this story.

A former Democratic candidate for governor and state lawmaker has filed for bankruptcy protection. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing will allow Bill Faison, a personal injury attorney, to restructure debt related to his Durham law firm, Faison and Gillespie.

In an interview, Faison said he expects to pay his debts in full, which are listed at more than $7.1 million. The Jan. 3 filing lists his assets at $9.4 million, including his family farm, a lake house, other real estate holdings, six cars, two motorcycles and two boats. “I can get it all paid,” he said.

Faison represented Orange and Caswell counties in the state House for four terms before making a bid for the Democratic Party nomination for governor in 2012. He came in a distant third in the party primary. The majority of the loans came from banks to underwrite his law firm and he is the guarantor. He said the lines of credit “smoothed out the peaks and valleys of cash flow” to his law firm. But the current atmosphere is making it difficult for the firm to pay back the loan on time.

The firm is facing major setbacks, he said, related to the economic downturn and a Republican-led effort to put caps on medical malpractice claims in 2011. The new lawsuit limitations “hurt business a great deal,” he said.