TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Monday, March 6, 2017

KY: Med Mal Review Panels Pass Both Houses

Both the House and Senate have passed a med mal review panel bill, and it is on its way to Governor Matt Bevin.  The gist:

 The proposed law would require plaintiffs to submit medical malpractice claims for review to an advisory panel that would review the case and determine whether it has merit or is frivolous before issuing a nonbinding opinion as to whether the case should proceed.

Trial judges would decide the admissibility of the panel's finding.  

When our firm represented med mal plaintiffs in Virginia, a review panel law was in place.  We routinely declined to participate in the process.  When the results were provided to the jury our non-participation in the panel procedure was noted.  The panels are a waste of time.  A better way to reduce suspect lawsuits is to use a certificate of merit procedure.  It is not perfect, but it accomplishes the goal of reducing frivolous suits more directly, and without an impact on plaintiffs whose suits are meritorious.  Needless to say, it is far superior to caps for the same reason.  

The National Law Review has the story.

Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink


The big difference between your experience and the proposal in KY is that in KY participation would be required. Who will be in the panels? Doctors? Lawyers? Insurance company reps? The proposal is obviously meant to make it more difficulty to be able to pursue their rights in court. Bad news for victims of med malpractice, which a recent study found to be the third most common cause of death in the US!!

Posted by: Alberto Bernabe | Mar 6, 2017 3:17:59 PM

I haven't seen the precise language in the Kentucky bill, but my recollection was the panels in Virginia were mandatory, too. That doesn't mean you had to participate, only that the delay caused by the panel was inevitable.

Posted by: Chris Robinette | Mar 6, 2017 5:09:10 PM

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