MEDPAC Minute – Proposal Would Open Information About Defendant’s Insurance Coverage, But Not Plaintiff’s

A proposal from Rep. Bill Faison (D, Durham) would allow counsel of record for the plaintiff (not defense counsel) in any civil proceeding, including questioning of jurors, to present evidence or inquire regarding the existence, contents, and coverage of any liability insurance policies held by any defendant. The NCMS is opposed to this bill because the presence or absence of insurance is not relevant to questions about a person’s liability. Further, the knowledge of insurance coverage would likely induce juries to decide cases on improper grounds. These factors are spelled out clearly in the commentary that accompanies Rule 411 of the Rules of Evidence, which is also repealed by Rep. Faison’s proposal. The bill is House Bill 1370 – Reform Medical Malpractice Evidentiary Rules.



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1 Comment

  • I realize that I must be very misinformed because I am not clever enough to have a law degree but I believe that basic fairness would dictate that my insurance information should be no more available to the jury thean detailed information about plaintiff’s resources, collateral sources of income or compensation and any pre-existing conditions, in detail, and subject to impeachment by defence council should be. Maybe I am just stupid becauseI am not a lawyer? Maybe another point woudl be that a rule shoudl exist that allows to go “bare” so lawyers who sue us cannot assume we have insurance because we are on staff at the local hospital? I will keep thinking…give me a chance!