The Winds of Medical Malpractice Reform, Part II


It appears that there will be no caps for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases.  We had previously reported on caps here.

     The Governor’s budget proposed a cap of $250,000 in damages for pain and suffering.  It was part of a medical malpractice “reform” package promulgated by the Medicaid Redesign Team convened by Governor Cuomo.  The cap has been taken-out of the budget.

However, one “reform” that will pass is a Neurologically Impaired Infants’ Fund. 

The full ramifications of the NIIF are unclear.  It would appear that its purpose is to take out of the court system “brain-damaged baby” cases.  Children injured during childbirth would be granted compensation through the NIIF instead of through a lawsuit.  In other words, such injured children will lose the right to bring their cases in court, but they will be guaranteed some form of compensation.  In essence, there would be no need to prove medical negligence. 

It is unclear whether an infant will be awarded solely future medical, education, and living expenses to the exclusion of an award for pain and suffering.  It is also unclear whether the NIIF will save money versus the conventional method of lawsuits where fault has to be proved.  The NIIF will funded by a medical malpractice premiums.

We shall keep you informed.

If you have been injured due to medical malpractice, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation at 800-581-1434 or write to letters@seitelman.com.

Mark E. Seitelman, 3/29/11, www.seitelman.com.

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