Speaking out: Monticello woman heads to Washington D.C. to lobby against putting cap on medical malpractice lawsuits

Arkansas’ Pine Bluff Commercial
Sunday, February 6, 2005

Today Bettye Simpson will leave her Monticello home and head for a Little Rock hotel. She wants to make sure she doesn’t have to rush to be on time with the rest of the group.

Simpson is one of about 50 people organized by the Center for Justice and Democracy from all over the country that will descend on Washington, D.C. Tuesday and Wednesday. They’ve all come together with a common goal: Lobbying against a medical malpractice bill backed by the Bush administration that would, among other things, set a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages (i.e. pain and suffering and/or punitive damages) resulting from malpractice lawsuits.
Sadly, they all have something else in common, too. “All of these people are people who have experienced medical malpractice personally or in their family and realize how harmful such a law can be,” Laurie Beacham, communications director for the New York-based Center, said in an interview last week. “It’s not really up to the government to decide how much their quality of life is worth.”
The Center — a non-profit, non-partisan consumer group that focuses on protecting access to the civil justice system — has scheduled a hearing with Democratic members of Congress on Tuesday. That hearing will be Webcast live. Visit the Center’s Web site at http://centerjd.org for a link to watch it. The families also will be meeting with senators.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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