Florida Legislature Passes Medical Malpractice Changes

May 6, 2011

The Florida House has approved the final version of a bill overhauling medical malpractice suits in the state.

The bill (HB 479) was approved by a vote of 94-21 on Wednesday. It goes next to Gov. Rick Scott. He is expected to sign it into law.

It requires out-of-state doctors to apply for a certificate to testify as an expert witness in Florida trials. The certification allows the state to discipline out-of-state doctors if they are found to have offered “deceptive or fraudulent” testimony.

The measure provides some immunity from suit for doctors who volunteer to help high school and collegiate sports teams. But senators took out a hospital-protecting provision and said those facilities still need to be held accountable to injured patients.

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