Nev. Leaders Say Cap Likely to Aid Medical Malpractice Crisis

July 24, 2002

Nevada’s Democratic leaders in the Assembly have indicated a cap on non- economic damages is likely to become a portion of a final compromise to solve the state’s medical malpractice insurance crisis, according to an Associated Press report.

Democrats, however, who have traditionally resisted the call for a cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice jury awards, note the limits could end up at a higher level than the $250,000 that the medical community is asking.

Gov. Kenny Guinn, who will call the Legislature into a three-day special session starting early next week, will have a non-economic damage cap in his bill.

A cap for non-economic jury awards would install a limit on the amount of money an injured person obtains for pain and suffering. The cap does not limit awards for medical expenses or lost wages.

Nevada’s largest carrier, The St. Paul Companies, announced late last year that it would have to remove itself from the malpractice business due to financial losses, leaving more than half of the state’s doctors uninsured. Others followed suit, and still other companies said raising rates was necessary.

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