Nebraska mother in Washington to speak about bill

Associated Press
Monday, February 23, 2004

Tuesday will be the second time Lisa Gourley of Valley visits Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

It's not an easy trip for her, her husband or, most of all, her 10-year-old twin boys. But she said lawmakers need to again hear the story of what happened to one of her twins, Colin.

Colin had complications at birth, which a Nebraska jury ruled were partly due to the negligence of the Gourley's doctor, Omaha obstetrician Michelle Knolla. 

Colin's complications led to brain damage, leaving him with cerebral palsy, mental problems, mild blindness and the inability to walk.

A bill up for vote Tuesday in Congress is the second attempt of lawmakers to establish a federal cap like Nebraska's. With malpractice insurance premiums on the rise, physicians have asked lawmakers to cap settlements that they say are pushing them out of business.

The bill, supported by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., would put a cap on compensation for women and their babies who claim malpractice against their gynecologists or OB/GYN doctors.

Gourley, however, says the bill won't help doctors and it won't help keep costs down.

"They're just saving the insurance companies money," Gourley said. "It's not lowering any premiums. What they really need to do is get to the bottom of this."

Gourley is part of a group that is combating the bill with the help of the Center for Justice and Democracy, a nonprofit organization that works with tort reforms.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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