Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Connecticut Looks At Med Mal Review Law

The CT Mirror reported yesterday that attorneys are pushing for changes in that state's medical malpractice lawsuit procedures, specifically in how cases come to court.
"Since 2005, a patient wanting to claim damages from a doctor for alleged negligence must have his or her case reviewed by a similar health care provider, who will certify whether the claim has merit. If the patient can't get what's known as a good faith certificate, the courts will dismiss the case before it gets to trial."
 The report quotes the president of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association Mike Walsh:
"The term 'similar health care provider' was interpreted in such a rigid fashion that unless you had a doctor who was totally identical in terms of certifications and expertise and all the rest as the defendant, the courts would essentially dismiss the case..."
Please read the article at: The CT Mirror.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Missouri: House Passes Bill To Reinstate Med Mal Damage Caps

As reported by St. Louis Public Radio, The Missouri House has passed Legislation to reinstate medical malpractice damage caps that was "tossed out last year by the Missouri Supreme Court." (The court found that the cap law violated a right to a jury trial.) You can link to the news item here on St. Louis Public Radio.

The Springfield News-Leader also carried this report, stating:
"The bill places a limit of $350,000 in awards for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, stemming from medical malpractice lawsuits. The cap was initially put into place in 2005 but was struck down last year by the Missouri Supreme Court as unconstitutional under the state’s constitution."
In a press release from Mellino Robenalt law firm, Attorney Tom Robenalt commented on the Missouri bill.
“It goes without saying that medical malpractice is a hot button for not just victims, but for lawmakers, the media and insurance companies. Everyone wants to do something about the costs of medical malpractice, but few seem to get the point that it’s the victim they need to focus on, not the bottom line financial concerns for the insurance companies.” 
For more on Robenalt's view, see: Does A High Standard of Proof Help or Hinder Victims?