Bill Limiting Damages for Medical Malpractice Vetoed

Posted on Jun 28, 2011

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue vetoed a bill that limited damages for persons catastrophically injured by medical malpractice and explained her veto as reported by the Greensboro News-Record Capital Beat blog as follows:

"We can achieve real medical malpractice reform as well. I commend the legislature for addressing this important issue but, in its current form, the bill is unbalanced. I urge legislators to modify the bill when the General Assembly returns in July to protect those who are catastrophically injured. Once the bill is revised to adequately protect those that are catastrophically injured, I will proudly sign it into law. I pledge to continue working with the General Assembly to achieve a comprehensive, bipartisan consensus."

 Really, there is no reasoned response to the Governor Perdue's veto. Proponents of limiting damages for those catastrophically injured by medical malpractice usually advance the false argument that frivolous lawsuits are driving up healthcare costs for everyone, which on its face, makes no sense. Since no money is paid out for a frivolous lawsuit, it is impossible for a frivolous lawsuit to drive up costs across the board for everyone in any calculable way.  The filing of frivolous lawsuits is not deterred by limiting damages to those catastrophically injured by true, actual medical malpractice. Limiting damages to those catastrophically injured by medical malpractice shifts actual financial reponsibility for the injuries from the wrongdoers to the public at large, who are then obliged to maintain the catastrophically injured patient through social welfare benefits, Medicaid, Medicare and/or Social Security Disability Benefits being the most obvious examples, while the actual wrongdoer, the person's whose medical malpractice  caused the catastrophic injuries gets off easy with limited liability.  Medical malpractice reform like tort reform in general erodes and limits responsibility for wrongdoing while increasing the public role in maintaining our fellow and catastrophically injured citizens. 

Lexington, Kentucky injury lawyer Robert Abell represents persons injured by the negligence of others; contact him at 859-254-7076. 

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