North Carolina Senate Panel Alters Malpractice Awards Cap Bill

February 28, 2011

A legislative committee debating a measure that would place limits on awards in medical malpractice lawsuits and change some rules for the litigation could vote on the measure early this week.

The Senate Finance Committee last Thursday wrapped up a second week examining the measure and taking amendments. Changes so far have altered a proposed cap on awards for non-economic damages from $250,000 per victim to $500,000 from each defendant successfully sued.

The bill also would set a higher negligence standard to sue doctors successfully for emergency care.

Republicans who back the bill say the measure would bring more certainty to the medical profession and make North Carolina more attractive to practice medicine. The state trial lawyers’ association argue any damage cap is unconstitutional.

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