General Assembly Sends Tort Reform to Gov. Perdue

Senate Bill 33 Medical Liability Reform is due to land on Governor Perdue’s desk this afternoon, after the General Assembly enacted the historic bill last night. The measure automatically becomes law after 10 days, unless the Governor signs or vetoes the bill before the waiting period ends. Should the General Assembly adjourn before the ten-day waiting period, the Governor would have 30 days after adjournment to act on the bill.

The North Carolina Medical Society wishes to thank the many legislators who supported medical liability reform, helping to calm the stormy legal climate in which health care has been delivered for many years in North Carolina. The Senate adopted SB 33 on a 32-9 vote, while it passed by a 62-44 vote in the House. You can see how your legislators voted by clicking here or by looking below.

The NCMS alerted members to the historic vote minutes after the House enacted the bill last night. You can read the Bulletin Alert by clicking here.

Message from Robert W. Seligson, NCMS EVP/CEO on the passage of SB 33 in the NC General Assembly
Representatives Who Voted for SB 33
Marilyn Avila (R-Wake)
Jeff Barnhart (R-Cabarrus)
James Boles (R-Moore)
Glen Bradley (R-Franklin)
William Brawley (R-Mecklenburg)
William Brisson (D-Bladen)
Larry Brown (R-Forsyth)
Rayne Brown (R-Davidson)
Harold Brubaker (R-Randolph)
Justin Burr (R-Stanly)
Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg)
George Cleveland (R-Onslow)
Jeff Collins (R-Nash)
Bill Cook (R-Beaufort)
James Crawford (D-Granville)
William Current (R-Gaston)
Jimmy Dixon (R-Duplin)
Jerry Dockham (R-Davidson)
Nelson Dollar (R-Wake)
John Faircloth (R-Guilford)
Jean Farmer-Butterfield (D-Wilson)
Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth)
Phillip Frye (R-Mitchell)
Mitch Gillespie (R-McDowell)
Ken Goodman (D-Richmond)
Michael Hager (R-Rutherford)
Kelly Hastings (R-Gaston)
Dewey Hill (D-Columbus)
Mark Hilton (R-Catawba)
Mark Hollo (R-Alexander)
Bryan Holloway (R-Stokes)
Craig Horn (R-Union)
Julia Howard (R-Davie)
Frank Iler (R-Brunswick)
Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus)
Bert Jones (U-Rockingham)
Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe)
Carolyn Justice (R-Pender)
Ric Killian (R-Mecklenburg)
James Langdon (R-Johnston)
Daniel McComas (R-New Hanover)
Darrell McCormick (R-Yadkin)
Pat McElraft (R-Carteret)
William McGee (R-Forsyth)
Charles McGrady (R-Henderson)
Marian McLawhorn (D-Pitt)
Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe)
Tim Moore (R-Cleveland)
Tom Murry (R-Wake)
Bill Owens (D-Pasquotank)
G.L. Pridgen (R-Robeson)
Johnathan Rhyne (R-Lincoln)
Efton Sager (R-Wayne)
Norman Sanderson (R-Pamlico)
Mitchell Setzer (R-Catawba)
Paul Stam (R-Wake)
Fred Steen (R-Rowan)
Mike Stone (R-Lee)
John Torbett (R-Gaston)
William Wainwright (D-Craven)
Edith Warren (D-Pitt)
Michael Wray (D-Northampton)
Senators Who Voted for SB 33
Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson)
Bob Atwater (D-Chatham)
Phil Berger (R-Rockingham)
Stan Bingham (R-Davidson)
Andrew Brock (R-Davie)
Harry Brown (R-Onslow)
Pete Brunstetter (R-Forsyth)
Debbie Clary (R-Cleveland)
Warren Daniel (R-Burke)
Jim Davis (R-Macon)
Don East (R-Surry)
Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover)
Rick Gunn (R-Alamance)
Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston)
Fletch Hartsell (R-Cabarrus)
Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell)
Neal Hunt (R-Wake)
Brent Jackson (R-Sampson)
Clark Jenkins (D-Edgecombe)
Eric Mansfield (D-Cumberland)
Wesley Meredith (R-Cumberland)
Buck Newton (R-Wilson)
Louis Pate (R-Wayne)
Jean Preston (R-Carteret)
Bill Purcell (D-Scotland)
Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick)
David Rouzer (R-Johnston)
Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg)
Dan Soucek (R-Watauga)
Richard Stevens (R-Wake)
Tommy Tucker (R-Union)
Michael Walters (D-Robeson)

Share this Post


1 Comment

  • Great next step. Let’s be planning to followup next session by introducing “therapeutic misadmenture” and removing the real driver of defensive medicine, the constant fear of missed diagnosis. “One in a million does not matter if you are the one!” John Dykers

    previous letter to Rep. Jim Crawford
    Dear Jim,
    I wanted to put into your head an idea on tort reform that should be acceptable to all parties and would go a long way toward improving the quality of medical care delivered in our fair state.

    When a physician (or nurse or nurse practitioner or hospital or nursing home or any other deliverer of health care who might under present stature be subject to being sued for “malpractice”) (and the timing is important) becomes aware of a harm done to a patient that physician has the option to declare a “therapeutic misadventure” and all future medical care requred by that harmful event may be delivered without charge to the patient by any and all persons or institutions party to the harmful event and the question under present law of “malpractice” becomes moot. The lawyers and the insurers may wrangle to their heart’s content over any economic damages due to the patient.
    The declaration of a “therapeutic misadventure” would automatically trigger a review by the institution or medical society of the events leading up to the harm in order to determine if corrections of knowledge, technique, or systems might prevent such harm in the future. Education and learning and system improvement would be enhanced and the “gotcha” removed!

    Hope to see you in person again soon so we might talk about this, but wanted to at least put this where your staff might start on it and hopefully pass this on to you promptly. I have already shared with the NCMS staff.

    Best regards,

    Previous note to the NC Medical Society: lets work on the concept of “medical misadventure” – that a physician may declare one as soon as the physician is aware of any reasonably preventable patient harm.
    Then the lawyers and insurance people can wrangle over the economic damages and leave “malpractice” out of it. The physician awareness timing is crucial to remove the constant fear of a missed diagnosis, a reality that physicians should always try to avoid but the FEAR of lawsuit drives “defensive medicine”.
    This concept should make learning from error much more driven by improving medical care than by “cover your a–“! True for hospitals and nursing homes as well as doctors and nurses.