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Clifford Tucker Meets Senator Lindsey Graham with New York State Trial Lawyers Association on Medical Malpractice Bill

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Last night, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham spoke with members of the Plaintiffs personal injury bar at the New York State Trial Lawyers Association about a federal medical malpractice bill that would significantly restrain patients’ rights.  I (Clifford Tucker) was in attendance and met Senator Graham.

Before his career as a prominent Senator, Senator Graham was a trial lawyer.  He represented injured people.  He has said, “A courtroom is where the lowliest victim should find justice and the highest wrongdoer receive just punishment …. That’s what makes the law a noble profession, its impartiality and fairness.”

Federal Medical Malpractice Bill Would Take Away Patients’ Rights

The medical malpractice bill that passed the House and now must be stopped in the U.S. Senate would severely restrict patients’ rights to a fair trial and fair money damages from people who injured them.  Some of the restrictions include:

  1. Taking away injured patients’ rights to recover more than $250,000.00 in money damages for their pain, suffering, and lost enjoyment of life, even if a jury verdict allows for more than that amount;
  2. Shortening the time that injured patients have to file a lawsuit, even if the patient would not have realized their injury within that shortened time period (this is a restriction on the statute of limitations);
  3. Revoking patients’ rights to bring claims against doctors who prescribe dangerous drugs and medical devices when the drug or device was “approved, licensed, or cleared by the Food and Drug Administration” at the same time as the patient brings a claim against the drug or device manufacturer;
  4. Taking away “joint and several liability” where an injured patient who has a right to compensation would not be able to recover those damages from several Defendants beyond their “share of fault.”

A study in the Journal of Patient Safety has shown that medical malpractice led to between 210,000 – 400,000 deaths per year, making it the third leading cause of death in America.

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