This bill would reform medical malpractice lawsuits where coverage for the care was provided or subsidized by the federal government, such as through a subsidy or tax benefit. It wouldn’t preempt certain state laws, or federal vaccine injury laws and rules.
The statute of limitations would be three years after the injury or one year after the claimant discovers the injury, whichever occurs first. For a minor, the statute of limitations would be three years after the injury except for minors under age six, in which case it’d be three years after the injury, one year after discovery of the injury, or the minor’s eighth birthday — whichever occurs later. These limitations could be “tolled” — basically pausing or delaying the statute of limitations — under certain circumstances.
Noneconomic damages — paid out for things like permanent disability or physical pain and suffering as opposed to medical bills (which are economic damages) — would be capped at $250,000. Juries couldn’t be informed of this limitation. Parties would be liable for the amount of damages that are directly proportional to their responsibility. These provisions don’t preempt state laws that specify a particular amount of monetary damages. Courts would be required to supervise the payment of damages and could restrict attorney contingency fees, which would be limited by the bill.
Evidence concerning insurance payments and related benefits may be introduced in lawsuits involving injury or wrongful death. Insurance providers would be restricted from recovering any amount from the claimant in such a lawsuit. These provisions don’t apply if Medicare is a secondary payer or there is third party liability for Medicaid services.
A healthcare provider who prescribes or dispenses prescriptions a medical product approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may not be party to a product liability lawsuit or a class action lawsuit regarding the medical product.