Archives: May 2020

Protect health-care workers from COVID litigation: A plaintiff’s attorney says medical professionals should be shielded

SOURCE: New York Daily News As a plaintiff’s attorney for four decades and past president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, I support medical malpractice litigation. In fact, I believe medical professionals should be held to a higher standard than others since they hold peoples’ lives in their hands. But today, as we fight to stop COVID-19 from devastating our country, I applaud New York’s Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act, which provides civil and criminal immunity for health-care workers fighting the coronavirus. Gov. Cuomo should keep these protections in place as long as we are asking doctors to treat patients with COVID-19 while enduring extraordinary limitations and challenges. We need to recognize that the law simply should not apply to the current situation. The burden in medical malpractice cases is a “reasonable standard of care,” meaning that a doctor provided a level of care that another doctor would have provided under similar circumstances. Determining a reasonable standard at this moment is impossible. As more people across the country become infected and hospitalized, hospitals are facing a critical shortage of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and even health-care workers. Hospitals have had to go to extraordinary lengths to keep up…

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May 2020 Newsletter

HCLA presses Congress to pass COVID-19 liability protections As the need for federal action in support of pandemic responders builds, the Health Coalition on Liability and Access is taking an active role in pressing Capitol Hill on the importance of incorporating these protections in future COVID-19 legislation. Emphasizing the bipartisan support for passing a form of liability shield during the pandemic, HCLA Vice-Chair Katie Orrico spoke to the Northern California Record about work being done by the organization behind the scenes to ensure these protections are broad enough to be effective. “To the idea that something does in fact need to happen, there has been a bipartisan willingness to entertain that, so ultimately the question will come down to how broad are those protections,” said Orrico. Most recently, the group submitted a statement for the record to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary ahead of a hearing on the matter. Senate Republican leaders have been vocal about their approach. “[COVID-19 liability reforms] will extend significant new protections to the people who have been on the front lines of the response and those who will be on the front lines of the re-opening,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Both…

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HCLA presses Congress to pass COVID-19 liability protections

SOURCE: North California Record Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill last week heard testimony on expanding liability protections during the COVID-19 pandemic, a measure that many say is necessary to prepare for reopening the nation’s economy. While Republicans have been backing such protections, and Democrats have answered with a new $3 trillion stimulus bill, behind the scenes there looks to be bipartisan support for passing some form of liability shield during the pandemic, Katie Orrico, vice chair of the Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA), told the Northern California Record. “To the idea that something does in fact need to happen, there has been a bipartisan willingness to entertain that, so ultimately the question will come down to how broad are those protections,” said Orrico, who is also director of the Washington office of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) / Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). “It’s not in the HEROES bill, that is a placeholder bill, and the real bill is being negotiated behind the scenes, and so we’ll see how this sorts out, but this is a top of the line issue that is in active discussions and hopefully won’t get too politicized,” Orrico said. Shortly after…

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