Medical liability bill modeled after Texas law introduced

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 14, 2011

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Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R, Texas), reintroduced legislation in the U.S. House that he said would tackle the problem of unnecessary lawsuits against physicians.

The Medical Justice Act mirrors a law adopted in Dr. Burgess' home state of Texas in 2003. The bill, which Dr. Burgess has introduced numerous times, would cap the noneconomic damages a person can recover in injury and wrongful death cases to $250,000. Total damages would be capped at $1.4 million, a figure that would rise with inflation.

"We need national, across-the-board change in the tort reform system, and my bill would do just that," Dr. Burgess said. "Runaway lawsuits are unnecessary and costly, and reforming medical liability must be a part of the national health care debate."

Another medical liability reform bill, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost Timely Healthcare Act, sponsored by Rep. Phil Gingrey, MD (R, Ga.), was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 16. It is based on a long-time California liability statute and heads to the House floor for consideration.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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