Doctors take malpractice case to D.C.

New Jersey’s Ashbury Park Press
Thursday, April 21, 2005

Clad in white coats, dozens of New Jersey doctors descended on Capitol Hill to prod Congress for something their state lawmakers have yet to dispense: a cap on medical malpractice awards.
They joined physicians from eight other Eastern states on a unseasonably hot Wednesday afternoon to rally for a bill in Congress limiting how much patients could receive for medical mistakes.

Similar to a bill that the state Legislature rejected in 2004, the federal legislation would cap at $250,000 noneconomic awards — sums generally related to pain and suffering. Awards based on loss of work income would not be capped.
Opponents of a cap say their studies show no link between the number of lawsuits filed and insurance rates. And they object to the notion that every case should be treated the same.
"The thing about a cap, it affects everybody, every case, no matter how meritorious, no mater how severe the injury, no matter how bad the misconduct," said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice and Democracy, a consumer group.
Sen. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., said caps alone are not the answer.
"While they may be part of the conversation, I think that we need to take a serious look at all aspects of this issue, including how the malpractice insurance industry sets rates and how to reduce medical errors, he said in a statement released by his office.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

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