Colorado Senate to vote on raising malpractice caps

by Bob Mook Denver Business Journal

A proposal to relax caps in medical malpractice lawsuits is scheduled to be heard by the Senate, State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on Monday.

Introduced on Thursday, Senate Bill 164, sponsored by Sen. Peter Groff, D-Denver and Rep. Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, would raise the caps for non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) in medical malpractice cases to match those in other types of damage cases. The current cap in medical malpractice cases for non-economic losses is $300,000; in general liability cases it’s $366,000, but that figure is scheduled to be inflation-adjusted this year.

Damages for physical impairment or disfigurement, previously considered as non-economic damages will be consider as economic damages under the bill — with a cap of $1 million. Under current law, judges can override the caps for economic losses if they determine the patients losses exceed $1 million. The bill does not change that provision.

Doctors and malpractice insurers worry that raising the caps on malpractice claims could increase medical costs by raising the rates for medical malpractice insurance and possibly drive some physicians out of the market.

But supporters, including trial lawyers, say the legislation merely increases non-economic losses to the level of non-medical liability cases. They also say the proposal would give patients who suffer impairment or disfigurement from careless medical procedures better compensation.

Supporters of the bill say doctors’ claims that raising malpractice caps significantly contribute to the rising costs of health care or cause physicians to abandon their practices are unfounded.

Groff, who is president of the Senate, has said he carried the legislation because he believes the current medical malpractice system is unfair.

‘The caps haven’t been adjusted for almost a decade and this isn’t about trial lawyers or insurance companies — it’s about justice for the victims,” Groff said regarding an earlier draft of the bill late January.

The bill will be heard Feb. 18 at 1:30 p.m. in Senate Committee Room 353 in the state Capitol.
see original

You may also like

Legislative panel approves medical malpractice bill
Read more
Urgent-care centers: Illinois numbers grow as time-pressed families seek low-cost option to ERs
Read more
Global Center for Medical Innovation launches
Read more

Recent Posts

Medical review panels in Louisiana are not allowed to take into account COVID immunity

By fixing the damage cap, New Mexico managed to prevent a crisis in medical malpractice insurance

ATRF Publishes Annual ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report, Medical Professional Liability Again Plays Determining Role

Popular Posts

2022 Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates: What the data tells us

Global Center for Medical Innovation launches

PIAA 2017: Current Trends & Future Concerns

Start Your Custom Quote Process™

Request a free quote