Arizona Lawmaker to Offer Medical Malpractice Bill

December 16, 2008

An Arizona legislator is renewing a controversial proposal to make it harder to successfully sue emergency medical providers for alleged malpractice.

Republican Sen. Carolyn Allen of Scottsdale says raising the burden of proof for claims of negligent care could help encourage prospective emergency room doctors to decide to practice in Arizona.

Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed 2006 legislation and the House narrowly rejected a 2007 version.

Allen says she needs to “educate” the many newly elected House members on the issue but that she’s optimistic because Secretary of State Jan Brewer will replace Napolitano in the governor’s office.

Trial lawyers contend that the proposed change would deprive Arizonans of the chance to recover damages for medical negligence.

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