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I do not hande medical malpractice cases for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that they are almost impossible to win, at least in Alabama, and that they are ridiculously expensive to pursue. However, I recently read an article, see http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/other/138073-ama-builds-support-for-yet-to-be-introduced-medical-tort-reform-bill where the newly elected Republican House is set yet again on passing federal med-mal "tort reform." One of the fixes will limit non-economic damages to $250,000. Really, someone’s negligence could cost you a limb or leave you paralyzed or on a feeding tube and the most "compensation" you can receive for that is $250,000. On its face, this proposed "reform" is nothing more than an effort to shield doctors and hospitals from fairly paying for the consequences of their negligent acts. Why should these type of claims receive special treatment limiting recovery to an amount less than provable damages?

Althougn the article did not detail the other "reforms," it did mention a limit on attorney fees. I am sure that this is just another effort to make these cases less attractive to take than they already are.

Real reform ought to be concerned primarily with patient safety and, of course, to the extent that there really is a problem with shielding innocent doctors and hospitals from being sued, that ought to be a focus as well. Placing an arbitrary and low $250,000 cap on non-economic damages serves only to shield NEGLIGENT doctors and hospitals from bearing the full responsibilty of their negligence. Unfortunately, its just more of the same from our newly elected House.

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