April 6, 2011

Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Watch: H.R. 5 Hearing Today

by Levin & Perconti

The battle to protect the rights of medical malpractice victims wages on today as the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee meets to discuss the merits of a bill now known as House Resolution 5 (HR 5).

Blog readers are quite acquainted with the danger posed to all medical patients by this misguided piece of legislation. The bill is very similar to legislation that was proposed, but rejected by previous Congresses in the past few years. In essence, if passed, the new law would promote the interest of a few big interests—professional defendants—like insurance companies and drug manufacturers. Losing out would be the victims of medical malpractice and their families, who will have some of their basic legal rights stripped from under them.

HR 5 takes away the power of juries to decide certain basic decisions about the damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In addition, the legislation proposes shortening the statute of limitations of certain injuries (essentially more unsuspecting victims to lose their right to seek redress). Other pleading changes and liability changes are included each with the intended effect of harming medical malpractice victims and helping the big businesses who already rake in healthy profits each year.

Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti remain committed to fighting against these unnecessary and costly proposals. We will continue to remind others about the true problem, not the prevalence of Illinois injury lawsuits, but the prevalence of medical malpractice itself. Tens of thousands of patients continue to die across the country each year because of mistakes made by medical providers that could be prevented. It is vital that the public be reminded of those countless victims, the families who suffer after their death, and the ways in which we all can work together to limit the harm. Legislation that punishes the victims, like HR 5, does nothing of the sort. It should be soundly rejected.


See Our Related Blog Posts:

Illinois Medical Malpractice Watch: Dangerous Tort Reform Bill Advances in Congress

Illinois Medical Malpractice Reform Would Have Huge Costs