TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Monday, February 11, 2013

Georgia Proposes Tort Reform Bill

On Friday, Georgia state Senator Brandon Beach introduced a bill that would create a hearings-system to handle medical malpractice claims.    The proposed system would be similar to the worker's comp system:

[The bill] would create a system in which patients take complaints of doctor or hospital mistakes to a panel of physicians for hearings rather than filing lawsuits in court. If the panel concludes compensation is warranted, it pays out of a fund all providers pay into, like the no-fault system that covers on-the-job injuries.

The Augusta Chronicle has more.


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There are several problems with turning med mal into worker's comp. Since about 5% of adverse outcomes get filed today, the number of claims will likely skyrocket. Since defensive medicine has been practiced since the 1970s, it has become "standard of care" to order everything and do everything under the sun. So taking away the threat of lawsuits won't change the practice of medicine at all. The places with the most tort reform still have the most expensive medical systems.

Posted by: Tony Francis | Feb 11, 2013 11:47:46 AM

The proposed system would have nothing at all in common with workers comp, which pays whenever there's any sort of injury that is at all work-related. It would instead be a "no fault" — in the sense that doctors were never found at fault, because the merits of claims would be decided by "a panel of physicians," or, stated more accurately, the defendant's colleagues and other policyholders of the same insurance companies.

Let us consider an analogy: I propose all legal malpractice claims against Georgia trial lawyers be decided by a panel of Georgia trial lawyers. Doesn't sound so fair and simple now, does it?

Posted by: Max Kennerly | Feb 12, 2013 5:09:38 AM

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