December 2017 Newsletter

Year-end report sheds light on “Judicial Hellholes”

The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) end-of-year “Judicial Hellholes” report offers a public glimpse at the most unfriendly jurisdictions for those defending themselves against civil litigation, including medical liability lawsuits.

At the top of the list this year was Florida, where once-strong medical liability reforms have been continuously rolled back at the expense of patients seeking affordable and accessible care.

“This year, thanks to a state high court majority’s barely contained contempt for the policy-making authority of the legislative and executive branches of government, and a notoriously aggressive and sometimes lawless plaintiffs’ bar, Florida earns the ignominious #1 ranking among eight Judicial Hellholes…” said American Tort Reform Association president Tiger Joyce.

Also high on the list was St. Louis, where “antiquated rules have made it a favorite of personal-injury lawyers shopping for big-money verdicts” resulting in $300 million in awards since 2015. However, recent changes in state government, including a governor in support of changes to the liability system, do hold promise for much-needed reform in the coming year.

To read more about ATRA’s “Judicial Hellholes” executive summary and report on the where physicians and defendants fare the worst when it comes to liability lawsuits click here.

AMA active in supporting state liability challenges

The American Medical Association, a member of the HCLA, continues to work against attempts at the state level to roll back liability reforms proven to reduce medical lawsuit abuse.

Even as federal liability reform awaits consideration by the Senate, the AMA Litigation Center is providing support to legal challenges in Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin and Kentucky.

In Maryland and Michigan, the Litigation Center is actively pushing back against “artful pleading” maneuvers that look for ways around the medical liability review process and open up new avenues for meritless lawsuits.

The Litigation Center is also fighting to defend the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s reasonable limits on non-economic damages, as well as challenges to Kentucky’s recently enacted medical liability review courts.

The Litigation Center will continue to play an active role amid efforts to pass strong state liability laws, in the absence of comprehensive reform at the federal level.

To read more about the AMA Litigation Center’s activities in 2017, click here

Happy holidays, and best wishes for a healthy year ahead

As we look back on the year behind us, and with good reason remain optimistic about the year ahead, Protect Patients Now wishes you and your family peace, prosperity, and good health in 2018.

Our entire grassroots network was instrumental in demonstrating to Members of the House of Representatives the importance of comprehensive medical liability reform through letters, calls, and social media messages. This effort led to passage of a bill that awaits consideration by the Senate and would reduce costs for patients and taxpayers while increasing access to care.

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to working with you further in 2018 to Protect Patients Now.