Just across the border, the Michigan Legislature passed two bills that “reform” that state’s medical malpractice laws. The firs one, SB 1115, limits the damages that can be collected 108 to 2. Senate Bill 1118 decreases the statute of limitations for suing on behalf of a decedent, as well as bans prejudged interest for attorney fees and costs that are awarded in medical malpractice cases; it passed 107-3.
Bills that would have widened the healthcare professions that could be sued for malpractice, and another that said a professional or facility could not be sued if a doctor “acted with reasonable and good-faith belief that the conduct was well-founded in medicine and in the patient’s best interest,” did not make it to the governor’s desk.
Doctors and nurses testified that the package of bills would have improved access to care and addressed “inequities in liability statutes.” Their reasoning is that improving the healthcare environment would somehow address the shortage of doctors the state, as well as the nation, faces due to many doctors come to retirement age.
The president of the Michigan Association for Justice, a trial lawyer group, says he’s disappointed that the legislature spent so much time on bills protecting insurance companies and hurt patients.
This, unfortuately, seems to be a trend in state houses across the country. Commonsense would tell the average person that if you are hurt through the negligence of a medical health professional, you deserve more than an apology. Capping damages that will hardly cover future needs does nothing but make countless lives all that more difficult.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to the negligence of a medical professional in Ohio, please contact Robert W. Kerpsack CO., L.P.A. today for an initial case consultation.