In a continuing effort to undermine the basic rights of injured victims, the insurance lobby has renewed its efforts to generate large profits by lobbying legislators and your representatives in Congress to change laws to minimize pay-outs by capping medical malpractice awards to crippled victims.
On Wednesday, February 16, 2011, the House Judiciary Committee approved a medical malpractice reform bill by an 18-15 party-line vote.. The Bill caps non-economic damages at $250,000, limits punitive damages to $250,000 or twice the economic damages. The next vote will be among the entire United States House of Representatives.
Two points I think we should all consider:
1) Under the Bill of Rights, the 7th Amendment guarantees the right of a jury trial in all civil cases in which the amount of judgment might exceed 20 dollars. The High Court’s in three states, Georgia, Illinois and Missouri have declared the cap on non-economic damages unconstitutional in 2010.
2) Patients facing malpractice caps are forced to rely on taxpayer funded programs to care for their injuries and disabilities, meaning that the tort reform laws actually result in more money being taken out of taxpayer pockets.
Our New York State Congress is also taking similar steps to restrict your rights under the guise of “budget savings” means.
Please immediately e-mail or call your Senator or House Representative. Tell them you want them to protect your inalienable Constitutional right to a jury trial free from Governmental dictates and to avoid having taxpayer dollars used to fund care for victims of malpractice.
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. (D - NY) - Class I
478 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON DC 20510
Schumer, Charles E. (D - NY)- Class III
322 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON DC 20510
For NY STATE CONGRESSMEN, REFER TO THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE TO LOCATE YOUR REPRESENTATIVES and tell them how you feel: www.nysenate.gov/senators