September 21, 2009

Contact your Senator to Oppose Restrictions on State Tort Reform

by Levin & Perconti

This week, the Senate Finance Committee will consider the Health Care Bill released by Chairman Baucus. During consideration, there will be hundreds of amendments offered. Nearly 20 of these proposed amendments call for various restrictions on state tort remedies for medical malpractice cases. These even include caps on damages. An amendment proposed would limit noneconomic damages in a civil medical liability lawsuit to $250,000 from any provider or health care institution, not to exceed $500,000 from all providers and health care institutions. Another amendment would limit noneconomic damages in federal and state health care liability lawsuits to $500,000. Studies show that medical malpractice caps do not decrease insurance premiums and furthermore states that do have medical malpractice caps have higher insurance premiums. A final amendment would provide that doctor’s health care decisions that follow the Institute’s recommendations cannot be the basis of tort claim of negligence, or failure to comply with the standard of care. All of these amendments would hinder a victim from receiving fair awards after a medical mistake. Contact your local Senator and let them know that you do not support these amendments.