A newly-introduced bill that was approved by a House committee at the end of February 2017, H.R. 1215 (also known as Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017), could have dire consequences for victims of medical malpractice. The bill would make it more difficult for victims to file lawsuits, would further protect negligent healthcare providers and would limit compensation for victims.
With medical errors causing more deaths than heart disease or cancer, the PHP Law Firm is dedicated to helping individuals and families recover both physically and emotionally from the effects of medical malpractice. As such, we are not only concerned by this development, but are actively involved in fighting the legislation.
H.R. 1215 would affect any individual (and/or their families) harmed through medical malpractice, limiting payouts for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering at $250,000, an incredibly low amount in many cases. By capping damages, the bill aims to strip individuals of their constitutional right to trial by a jury of their peers.
According to Joanne Doroshow of The Huffington Post, consequences also include, but are not limited to:
- “A federally-mandated statute of limitations ― the time limit for someone to file a meritorious lawsuit ― which is more restrictive than a majority of state laws.”
- “Federal repeal of state joint and several liability laws, meaning that the injured patient ― not other fully-responsible wrongdoers ― would have to cover the cost of an injury if one of the fully-responsible wrongdoers cannot pay.”
- “A federally-mandated prohibition against a severely-injured patient receiving a full jury award in a lump sum, leaving the patient undercompensated while the insurance company gets to sit on the money and pocket the interest.”
- “A federally-mandated ban on including a hospital, nursing home or health care provider in a case against a drug company over an unsafe drug, even if the provider negligently prescribed or administered the drug and is jointly responsible for causing injury or death.”
What Our Team of Attorneys is Saying
“Our rights as patients are being taken away so that insurance companies can make more money.”
— Brad Prochaska, Attorney | PHP Law Firm
“A patient’s pain and suffering should be determined by a jury after hearing all the facts and not by Washington special interests groups.”
— Ryan Prochaska, Attorney | PHP Law Firm
“Our Constitution guarantees each and every individual the right to trial by a jury of their peers. By capping damages, this bill eliminates every individuals’ constitutional right and would leave many injured Americans without recourse against negligent medical professionals.”
— Drew Steadman, Attorney | PHP Law Firm
“This bill only serves to protect negligent medical professionals while denying the victims of medical malpractice fair and just compensation.”
— Kevin B. Coombs, Attorney | PHP Law Firm
How You Can Help
If you agree with our team, we urge you, your friends and your family to contact the appropriate congress and senate representatives, urging them to oppose this and any similar legislation. Taking action is easy— just follow the steps below:
- Visit http://www.takejusticeback.com/ProtectMyRightToFight
- Click on “Write a Letter” at the bottom of the page
- Enter your ZIP code
- Review the sample letter and recipients before entering your information and submitting the letter to the appropriate representatives for your area