Victory! SB 33 – Medical Liability Reforms Becomes Law in North Carolina

Veto-Override-Signature-Sheet-compactPhysicians are savoring a great and hard-fought victory this week. The North Carolina Medical Society’s longtime campaign for medical liability reform achieved a historic milestone on July 25, when the North Carolina House voted 74 to 42 to override Governor Perdue’s veto and place into law Senate Bill 33 – Medical Liability Reforms. Unlike other override votes this week, there were 12 additional votes gained between the House Floor vote to enact SB 33 and the House vote to override the veto. Other veto overrides only gained one or two votes.

Partnering with various groups from the medical and business communities, the NCMS waged a 24/7 initiative targeting members of the NC House, after the Senate voted to override the veto on July 13. Face-to-face meetings with physicians, countless phone calls and emails, media coverage and daily contact with legislators lead to the momentous victory that followed more than a decade of advocating for needed tort reforms.

In a Special Bulletin [ ] sent to NCMS members on Tuesday, NCMS EVP Robert W. Seligson thanked physicians for their extraordinary efforts in urging their legislators to make SB 33 law. “This was a tremendous victory for the people of North Carolina and their physicians,” Seligson said. “This victory was huge and can be attributed to a team effort by the entire medical and business communities.”

The NCMS also thanked the General Assembly for carefully crafting, debating and ultimately passing the most meaningful piece of liability reform in our state’s history, which will benefit the entire state by saving health care dollars, improving access to care and minimizing frivolous lawsuits.

Special appreciation was extended to every organization and individual that contributed to the success of medical liability reform in North Carolina — it was a team effort.  “Please allow us to say ‘thank you’ to all of the individuals and organizations that contributed their time, money and other resources to this effort,” Seligson said. “We are especially grateful for the work of the component and specialty societies, physician assistsants, the medical group managers, hospitals, nursing homes, chambers of commerce and other business organizations, all of whom put forth special efforts to make medical liability reform a reality.”


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