The fight against misguided tort reform legislation took a troubling, though not altogether unexpected, turn this week as the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the bill known as H.R. 5. Of course, this piece of legislation represents a incredibly short-sided attack on the rights of a variety of innocent injury victims-including those suffering from Illinois medical malpractice and nursing home neglect. With approval, the bill will be sent to the entire House for final consideration.
The American Association for Justice explains how during the debate on the measure several amendments were offered which would have limited he scope of the bill-all were largely defeated along party line votes. For example, one proposal would have taken out intentional torts (knowing abuse), nursing home lawsuits, medical device lawsuits, and medication suits. However, the amendments were rejected, meaning that the bill would affect countless more victims if passed.
The committee also rejected the arguments made about the preservation of the federalist system which generally would allow states to decide for themselves how to handle these issues. Instead, H.R. 5 places a straight-jacket on each state, eliminating its right to craft a civil justice system in its own way. Many conservatives supported this bill even though they claim to be proponents of the federalist tradition.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti are committed to speaking the truth about these unnecessary and dangerous bills. We have frequently noted that the main problem is not the existence of medical malpractice lawsuits, but the existence of medical malpractice itself. Attention should be returned to patient safety and sparing the nearly one hundred thousand yearly mistaken deaths.
We hope that the victims of these errors and their families are not completely shut out of this process. Please contact your members of Congress and help us stop this dangerous attack on the justice system.
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