Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Changes in State Medical Malpractice Laws

We want to hear about changes to laws governning medical malpractice in your state. Please send news articles, press releases and links to maryrkennedy -at- gmail.com. Or, add information directly through our commenting system.

Here's a recent round-up:

Oregon - Governor Kitzhaber will sign a bill passed by the House where, through the Oregon Patient Safety Commission, patients and providers can enter into mediation to resolve medical malpractice suits. According to a report in the Statesman Journal,
 "A provider can offer a settlement as part of the process. The discussions are confidential, and cannot be entered into evidence in most instances if there is a subsequent lawsuit.The deal was reached by the Oregon Medical Association and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association as a result of a work group convened by Kitzhaber, who’s a physician."
Arizona - The state's supreme court recently upheld a state law that requires med mal plaintiffs to have a medical witness testify who is in the same specialty area as the provider being sued. While the ruling will make filing a medical malpractice lawsuit more difficult, the court writes it is "not unconstitutional because the requirement doesn’t flatly prevent plaintiffs from having their day in court," according to a report in the Insurance Journal.

Florida - A bill currently before the Florida Legislature would make it more difficult for parties filing medical malpractice lawsuits by requiring "a higher burden of proof  to prevail in medical lawsuits and would block suits against hospitals for errors committed within their walls if they were committed by people who are not employees — such as most doctors," according to a news report in Health News Florida.

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