TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – A bill approved Friday by the Florida House Health Care Appropriations subcommittee will make it even harder to sue a doctor for malpractice in the Sunshine State.

The bill, which was approved but retained in committee, increases the burden of proof for plaintiffs to win malpractice cases. It makes hospitals essentially blameless for the errors of their doctors.

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It also provides for punishment of doctors who offer expert testimony found to be false or misleading.

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Because the bill was retained in the committee, members will have another chance to consider the measure. It was approved Friday by an 11-3 vote.

The last major malpractice reform was in 2004 when Florida voters approved three initiatives. One created a patients’ declaration of rights. The others limited attorneys’ fees and banned doctors with three malpractice judgments.

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