TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, July 14, 2006

House Members Meet About Med Mal Reforms

The UPI has a fairly thorough look at a meeting of members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about potential reforms for the medical malpractice system.  Among the usual suspects, proposal-wise, was this one, new to me:

Jeffery O'Connell, professor of law at the University if Virginia, in Charlottesville, proposed a novel solution: the "early offer" settlement. A medical malpractice defendant would have the option of offering to pay within 180 days the plaintiff's net economic damages, excluding compensation from insurance coverage and/or worker's compensation claims - an offer the plaintiff would be compelled to accept.

The only exception would be if the plaintiff can show "gross negligence beyond a reasonable doubt," he said, noting that data suggest that about three percent of all medical malpractice claims involve gross negligence.

These settlements could be noted in a medical database to distinguish them from cases where negligence is proven, O'Connell said.

Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink

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