Medical Professional Liability

Important Readings:

The California legislature enacted MICRA – the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act – in 1976, at a time when physicians were increasingly retiring or leaving the state, citing sharp increases in MPL premiums and, in some cases, difficulty finding liability coverage at all. MICRA was designed to control these costs and encourage the availability of coverage, most prominently with a cap on noneconomic damages of $250,000. An initiative on the ballot in California this November could possibly overturn MICRA, raising the cap on any outstanding claim, regardless of when it was originally filed, effective January 1, 2015. A vote to overturn MICRA in November could signal the beginning of the end for tort reform in other states.

The purpose of this paper is to help policymakers, opinion leaders, and the public evaluate (1) the effects that the MICRA cap has had on California’s health care system, and (2) how an increase in the cap would affect Californians’ access to the care they need.

This Note has two primary purposes. The first is to examine the need for tort reform legislation in the United States in order to reduce health care costs for patients, doctors, and insurers, and to foster competition and availability of health care providers in all areas of the country. The second purpose is to examine actions available to the Georgia legislature by (1) examining how noneconomic damage caps have survived in other states, (2) determining whether a constitutional amendment is viable, and (3) offering alternative solutions to damage caps.

The United States is experiencing a growing deficit in cardiovascular physicians that is made worse as cardiovascular diseases become more prevalent. Important contributors to this deficit in the cardiovascular workforce and other specialty workforces are the high and rising costs of malpractice premiums in the majority of our states. This article will examine the problem along with recent activities related to the crisis in Florida and discuss their implications.

From the mid-1980s until today, the nation's largest businesses have been advancing a legislative agenda to limit their liability for causing injuries. One of the principal arguments on which they rely is that laws that make it more difficult for injured people to go to court (i.e., "tort reform") will reduce insurance rates. This report analyzes these claims, and concludes they are invalid.

Archived Readings:

  • The Economic Measurement of Medical Errors and Illinois Tort Reform on the Cost of Medical Liability Claims - 2010 CLRS
  • Presentation 1
  • Presentation 2

Useful References:

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