On June 9, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court struck down an old law that placed caps on damages a person could recover for injuries suffered due to medical malpractice. Ruling that the limit on non-economic damages violated the equal protection provisions of the state constitution, the Florida high court voted 4-3 to overturn the 2003 law which was passed to curb an alleged “medical malpractice crisis,” although the crisis never occurred.
The so-called medical malpractice crisis was nothing but a fabrication on the part of doctors and hospitals who live in fear of being sued, according to a story in the Washington Post. The Post story reports that “Doctors are paying less for malpractice insurance than they did in 2001,” and that the “rate of claims has dropped by half since 2003.”
Florida has made a smart move in abolishing non-economic damages caps, but now federal law would limit non-economic damages.
HR 1215 is dangerous to victims
HR 1215, The Protection of Access to Care Act of 2017, says that its purpose is to “improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system.” But what it really does is take away your rights to a jury trial, and it would limit the amount of compensation an injured person can collect in a medical malpractice lawsuit to $250,000 regardless of the extent of the injury. Here is a link to the full text of HR 1215 and a summary of the proposed bill.
Given that preventable medical mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., laws like this one would destroy any incentive for the health care industry to improve quality and safety for patients.
- THE ABA STANDS WITH PATIENTS: HR 1215 IS DANGEROUS
- H.R. 1215: CONGRESSIONAL TORT REFORM DESIGNED TO DESTROY YOUR RIGHTS
- NEW BILL WOULD REMOVE EFFECTIVE CHECKS ON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
- STATE AND FEDERAL EFFORTS TO LIMIT DAMAGES IN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASES
- TORT REFORM IN OHIO: GOOD FOR RAPISTS, BAD FOR VICTIMS
From the Patients’ Rights Blog:
- H.R. 1215 Aims to Stifle Victim’s Rights in Medical Malpractice Cases
- Tort Reform and Damage Caps Protect Hospitals, Not Patients
A study that analyzed data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) has found that paid medical malpractice claims across all specialties have fallen 55.7% from 1992 to 2014. If the so-called medical malpractice crisis never materialized, why must we create federally-mandated tort reform?
We will continue to encourage our readers and clients to contact your representatives as HR 1215 may be up for a vote this week. Get informed on the issue and let your elected officials hear what you have to say.
At Crandall & Pera Law, we believe that injured victims deserve full compensation for their injuries. Our Ohio and Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law fight to make sure that innocent patients can have the quality of life they deserve. For help with any type of healthcare negligence claim, we encourage you to call us at 877.651.7764 in Kentucky, 877.686.8879 in Ohio, or fill out our contact form.