Today, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a massive tort reform bill that has the potential to strictly limit many plaintiffs who file a health care lawsuit.
For patients who have been injured by medical negligence and file a lawsuit, H.R. 1215 (titled Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017) would limit their recoverable non-economic damages to $250,000. The bill would also impose attorney fee restrictions, a three-year statute of limitations, and other limits to injured patients’ lawsuits. The legislation applies to health care lawsuits involving coverage provided through a federal program, subsidy, or tax benefit.
In a recent blog post, Lori Andrus of Andrus Anderson described H.R. 1215 as legislation to “…tip the scales in favor of the health care and insurance industries.”
In an article for Huffington Post, Joanne Doroshow, Executive Director of the Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D) at New York Law School writes, “Between the cruel original bill, and the harsh amendments that will be added to the bill on Tuesday (no Democratic improvements will be allowed), H.R. 1215 would quite literally immunize the health care industry for most kinds of misconduct, from horrendous medical malpractice in hospitals, to nursing home abuse and neglect, to sexual assault by doctors.”
Most states do not cap damages in drug and device lawsuits; CJ&D has provided a simplified chart of state caps to show where each state currently stands. This bill would impose a nationwide cap, which would override the decisions each individual state has made for its citizens.
We at Milestone commend the work of CJ&D and Joanne Doroshow for providing a wealth of resources to citizens in addition to this informative article that echoes the concerns and opinions of people all over the country. We stand in support of plaintiffs’ rights and the civil justice system, and we oppose any bill that restricts the rights of Americans.
There are many ways to get involved in opposing the bill. Eighty organizations and counting have signed a letter to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. You can also call your Member of Congress to tell them to oppose H.R. 1215. To find your representative, click here to search by zip code.
About John Bair
John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process as co-founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at http://milestoneseventh.com/.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).