For the first time in 16 years, the NC General Assembly has passed meaningful medical liability reform. Senate Bill 33 will help reduce medical and legal costs, increase access to care, and improve our state health policy. This morning the News & Observer implied that the Governor’s Office is not hearing from many physicians on this issue!
The resulting potential for financial loss among plaintiffs’ trial lawyers has generated a huge effort by them to urge Governor Perdue to veto Senate Bill 33. Governor Perdue must decide by tomorrow evening what she will do with this bill. Your action is more important now than ever to save this hard-won medical liability reform.
The carefully crafted bill includes a cap on non-economic damages and important protections for emergency care that will help limit excessive malpractice awards in North Carolina — while still providing 100 percent of patients’ medical costs, lost wages, and substantial compensation for pain and suffering.
Senate Bill 33 is the product of an extensive legislative debate that last more than two months. From the beginning, the NC Medical Society, allied health care organizations, the NC Chamber of Commerce, and other groups supporting meaningful liability reform have demonstrated flexibility and willingness to accommodate any legitimate concern legislators raised.
But now the elaborate process of debate, amendment, and compromise, which included adjustments to the cap on non-economic damages, is over. We should not further change the bill to placate the insatiable plaintiffs’ lawyers, who opposed meaningful reform at every turn.
Please call or write Governor Perdue today using the contact information below and ask her to sign Senate Bill 33. In your communication, please emphasize the following points:
The General Assembly has enacted a vital medical liability reform bill that:
- Preserves the right of patients to fully recover for harm caused by medical negligence, plus substantial non-economic damages;
- Removes unnecessary medical and legal costs from the liability system;
- Reduces patients’ health care costs and improves access for everyone by addressing defensive medicine.