Limits On Health Lawsuits Move In Florida House

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – If you want to sue a doctor or hospital over the care you received, it may be a lot tougher if action taken by the Florida House Friday becomes law. Legislators moved forward on two bills that would help shield doctors, hospitals and nursing homes from costly lawsuits.

The bills have refueled lobbying battles that pit personal-injury attorneys against medical and nursing-home groups. If this sounds familiar, it’s because similar negligence and malpractice issues dominated legislative sessions in 2001 and 2003.

House Bill 479 would attack malpractice lawsuits in a number of ways, such as creating a certification process for out-of-state expert witnesses who testify against Florida doctors. That process would allow the state to discipline experts who don’t offer true testimony a longtime complaint by doctors.

Also, if hospitals contract with doctors who make a mistake, under the House bill the hospital would not be responsible. Many medical specialities, including radiologists and anesthesiologists, work in hospitals under contract.

Supporters say the bill will cut medical costs and lower malpractice insurance rates. While House Democrats proposed a series of amendments to try to loosen the bill’s restrictions, while raising questions about how the measure would affect patients, they had no success in the Republican-controlled House.

The full House is now set to vote on the bill next week, and a similar measure (SB 1590) is ready to go to the full Senate.

The House also will vote next week on the nursing-home bill (HB 661), that places a $300 thousand cap on certain damages in lawsuits against nursing homes. It would make it harder to sue for punitive damages and take steps to protect nursing-home officers, directors and owners from liability.

That may face a tougher time, since a similar Senate bill is stuck in a committee.

Comments

One Comment

  1. PhoneBill says:

    Great start, now let’s get some real tort reform and have loser pay laws. That alone would resolve this mess but it’s likely to significantly increase the unemployement rate in Florida as we seem to have more lawyers than anything else. But I’m willing to take that risk😉

    1. GAIN AND AGEIN says:

      Real Tort Reform

      & LOSER PAYS 😉

  2. M MUNOZ says:

    i AM OUTRAGED THAT A PERSONS LIFE HAS NO SIGNIFICANT VALUE.
    I PLACED MY DAD IN A NURSING FACILITY, AND WITHIN THE MONTH HE WAS SEVERLY DEHYDRATED UNABLE TO SPEAK OR SWALLOW ENDED UP IN INTENSIVE CARE AND PASSED AWAY THE SAME NIGHT FROM 2 CARDIAC ARREST, CAUSED BY THE SEVERE DEHYDRATION. NOTE: MY DAD HAD ALZHEIMERS ONLY NO OTHER MEDICAL CONDITION. THEY LIED TO ME WHEN HE WAS SENT TO HE HOSPITAL THEY CALLED ME AND TOLD ME THAT HE HAD SOME PROBLEMS SWALLOWING AND THEY WANTED TO EVALUATE HIM, HE ENDED UP CODING 2 TIMES AND PASSING AWAY THAT SAME NIGHT. I HIRED AN ATTORNEY AND THEY RESEARCHED AND FOUND THAT THE NURSING HOME IN QUESTION WAS SEVERY UNDERINSURED AND THE COULD NOT REPRESENT ME ANY FURTHER. BULL SO MY DAD DIED AND THEY WIPED THEIR HANDS FREE OF ANY NEGLIGENCE. HIALEAH CONVALESCENT HOME.
    LICENSED SINCE 2003 AND LISTED UNDER HIALEAH ENTERPRISES LLC THEY KILL YOUR RELATIVES AND ONCE THEY FIND OUT THEY PASSED NOT EVEN A CARD WITH CONDOLENSES.

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