Medical Liability Reform–A New Era for North Carolina

Now that Senate Bill 33 – Medical Liability Reforms and House Bill 542 — Tort Reform for Citizens and Business are law, you are urged to become familiar with the key provisions and their importance to physicians and patients.

SB 33 includes these important provisions:

  1. Tackles excessive jury awards by capping noneconomic damages.
  2. Controls unnecessary medical testing by requiring that any liability claim arising from treatment of an emergency medical condition be proved by “clear and convincing evidence.”
  3. Addresses the classic jury error of confusing bad outcomes with medical negligence by requiring juries to first determine if the physician was negligent before presenting evidence of the severity of harm.
  4. Ensures that the right to appeal is preserved in cases of large jury awards by requiring the court to set appeal bonds based on consideration of relevant factors such as amount of policy limits and net worth of the defendant.
  5. Cuts down on frivolous lawsuits by requiring the pre-litigation reviewing expert to review all of the reasonably available medical records.
  6. Restores fairness to claims of medical negligence made on behalf of minors by requiring such claims to be brought in a more timely manner.

Click here to read SB 33 – Medical Liability Reforms.

Click here to read HB 542 Tort Reform for Citizens and Business (also see “HB 542 Makes Important Changes to North Carolina’s Tort System” in this issue).


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