Preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the
United States behind heart disease and cancer, claiming the lives of as
many as 440,000 people annually. As disturbingly pervasive as this problem
is, Congress is currently considering a bill that would make it more difficult
for people injured by another person’s mistakes to get compensated.
H.R. 1215 is a bill that just came out of the House Judiciary Committee and is headed
to the House floor for a vote.
If it passes, the new law will:
- Limit the ability of injured patients and their families to hold healthcare
and medical providers accountable for negligence
- Limit remedies against for-profit nursing homes, insurance providers, and
doctors who commit intentional torts
- Make it more difficult to hold the pharmaceutical industry responsible
for patient harm
- Shorten the statute of limitations and cut off meritorious claims involving
diseases with longer incubation periods, and preempt any state law providing
a greater period of time
- Impose a more restrictive damages cap than any other state in the U.S.
- Eliminate joint liability for both economic and non-economic damages
- Increase costs while reducing the quality of healthcare provided to patients
Here are other major problems with the bill:
- The bill sponsors fails to address concerns raised by champions of states’ rights
- The bill is designed to only override state laws that protect patient and
consumers and keep laws in place that favor doctors, hospitals, and other
healthcare defendants at the expense of the safety of patients
- The bill applies not just to medical malpractice, but also to nursing home
claims, health insurance claims, and pharmaceutical product claims, further
limiting injured parties’ rights to the courts
Congress should protect patients, not make it more difficult for them to
get justice. We encourage you to take a stand by reaching out to your
senator and sharing your opinion on this matter. Please visit
To speak with a Greenville personal injury lawyer about your
medical malpractice matter, please contact us today.