Wednesday, November 4, 2009
United States Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) introduced legislation on Monday that would require the loser to pay the winner in some medical malpractice suits.
The Fair Resolution of Medical Liability Disputes Act of 2009 would require initial nonbinding arbitration for med mal claims prior to going to court. Either party could reject the arbiter's decision and proceed to trial. However, by so doing, the loser-pays mandate is activated. If the court judgment is less favorable than the arbiter's decision for the party rejecting the arbiter's decision, the rejecting party must pay the opponent's attorney's fees from the date of the arbiter's decision. There is an exception if the court finds such payment would be "unjust." The goal is to reduce the number of "frivolous" lawsuits. The story, courtesy of the Charleston Regional Business Journal, is here.