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senate Bill S. 1734

Medical Liability Reform Act of 2009

Bill Details

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Medical Liability Reform Act of 2009

Official Title

A bill to reduce the cost of health care and ensure patient access to doctors by ending excessive malpractice verdicts through common-sense lawsuit reform.


Medical Liability Reform Act of 2009 - Sets forth provisions regulating lawsuits for health care liability claims related to the provision of health care services. Imposes no limitation on recoverable economic damages. Limits recoverable noneconomic damages with respect to the same occurrence to: (1) $250,000 from a provider or a single health care institution; and (2) $500,000 from multiple health institutions. Makes each party liable only for the amount of damages directly proportional to such party's percentage of responsibility. Prescribes qualifications for expert witnesses. Prohibits an expert witness from testifying if the witness's fee is contingent on the outcome of the lawsuit. Requires the claimant: (1) to certify with the claim whether expert opinion testimony is necessary to prove the health care professional's standard of care or liability for the claim; and (2) upon certifying that such testimony is necessary, to serve a preliminary expert opinion affidavit. Directs the court to dismiss the claim without prejudice if the claimant fails to serve a preliminary expert opinion affidavit after certifying that an affidavit is necessary or after the court has ordered the claimant to serve an affidavit. Sets forth provisions concerning: (1) the applicability of this Act to Public Health Service Act provisions pertaining to civil actions brought for a general vaccine or smallpox vaccine injury; and (2) preemption of state laws.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
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      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedSeptember 30th, 2009

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