Wednesday, February 26, 2003

There's an old joke that legislation is like sausage: the process of making it is really gross. Here's a link to Georga Senate Bill 133, which, among many other things, establishes a $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in med mal cases, increases the standards for imposition of punitive damages, increases the difficulty of qualifying expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases, and best of all, establishes fairly extensive immunity for emergency room treatment and follow up. As indicated by the Georgia Bar Association, the bill "incorporates the Georgia Chamber of Commerce initiatives . . . ."

This bill follows an ongoing trend by tort limiters: don't prohibit causes of action, simply pass hard-to-understand legislation that makes it so hard to prove a case that no one will ever be able to do it. Eventually lawyers will stop taking the cases, because it's too difficult to win them. Thus the deck becomes stacked ever more heavily against plaintiffs.

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