Friday, July 14, 2006
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.