Sen. Ensign Reintroduces Medical Malpractice Bill That Would Cap Noneconomic Damages, Attorneys' Fees

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Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) has reintroduced legislation (S 243) he sponsored in the 109th Congress that would limit noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits to $750,000, CQ HealthBeat reports. Ensign said that the bill would cap noneconomic damages for a single health care provider at $250,000 with a total limit of $750,000. The legislation would not limit economic damages, but it would limit attorneys’ fees. According to Ensign, the bill is modeled after a Texas law that has helped reduce medical malpractice insurance premiums in that state. The American Medical Association in a statement said the Texas law has kept physicians’ malpractice premiums down and improved patients’ access to care. Ensign in a news release said, “Medical liability reform works, and it’s turning the tide against frivolous lawsuits and outrageous jury awards.” Democrats and trial lawyers opposed the measure last session and “will likely oppose it again” this session, according to CQ HealthBeat
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