Chicago, IL- While the debate over the Senate’s healthcare bill, takes up all the air, the House continues their push to pass House Resolution 1215 and reform federal malpractice laws, despite their state’s rights rhetoric. The bill makes fundamental changes to medical malpractice awards which critics say favor pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers over victims.
What Does House Bill 1215 Do?
Tort reform is top on the wish list of many Republicans on the Hill, and with complete control of the legislature and the White House, it is likely they will get their wish. Representatives say that federal medical malpractice reforms would help reduce the overall costs of medical care in the U.S.
House Resolution 1215 does some things to change federal malpractice laws by imposing a three-year statute of limitations, allowing a victim’s income to influence settlement awards and forbidding a medical professional’s apology from being submitted in court.
One of the most controversial provisions of the law would impose a $250,000 cap on awards for emotional damages. These damages are awarded to victims for the emotional suffering they endure because of medical malpractice. For victims who are permanently injured, and must endure lifelong strife, $250,000 for a lifetime of suffering is a pittance.
Legislatures across the U.S. have reformed their medical malpractice laws over the decades, and numerous states have approved caps on medical malpractice claims.
How Does This Bill Favor Big Pharma?
In a recent piece in the Huffington Post, Executive Director of the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School, Joanne Doroshow, chastised the bill stating that if it is passed, it would “federally-mandated that if you suffer the most severe non-economic injuries, they are worth exactly $250,000 (no matter what a local jury finds).” Regardless of how severe, how emotionally devastating, and how much a victim’s life is affected, you cannot be awarded more than $250,000. If a child suffers a brain injury, and permanently disabled, her life will be valued at $250,000. If a person loses a limb, is rendered infertile, suffers a brain injury or is given a harmful drug, Conservative lawmakers think $250K is enough for their emotional stress.
As Doroshow notes, although individual states have imposed caps on medical malpractice damages, most of those caps don’t apply to big pharma. She says: “The vast majority of states believe it’s wrong to cap liability for manufacturers of unsafe drugs and medical devices.” She also says there are other provisions aside from liability caps that shield pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers from medical malpractice claims.
Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Chicago
If a medical professional caused you harm because they were negligent, you might be entitled to compensation. Medical malpractice which can include a medication mistake, a misdiagnosis, or anesthesia error. Medical negligence can dramatically alter the course of your life and leave you with a mound of medical bills. No matter how serious your injuries are, you will face difficulties getting the compensation you deserve. Call and arrange a case evaluation today.