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North Carolina Governor Vetoes Medical Malpractice Reform Bill

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Brent Adams
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North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue vetoed a bill that would have put a cap on medical malpractice rewards. While she did sign two other bills, that involved tort reform and workers’ compensation reform, she released a statement explaining that she would only sign a medical malpractice reform bill that made exceptions for those who are catastrophically injured due to medical errors and hospital mistakes.

The bill, SB 33, would have capped non-economic damages for medical malpractice settlements at $500,000. In addition, the bill would also limit the liability of emergency caregivers, such as ER doctors and others who must treat patients on short notice with little idea of their medical history. Many proponents of the bill believe that the medical malpractice reforms would bring more doctors to North Carolina and lower insurance premiums for healthcare professionals. Those who opposed the bill believed that it was unconstitutional and also made some doctors immune from even the most negligent actions.

While most republicans in the House and Senate voted for the bill, most democrats were against it. There was not enough support for the bill in the House to override the Governor’s veto.

Perdue also said in her statement that she would gladly sign a bill that was altered to make it fairer to injured patients. She added that she wished to continue working with the entire General Assembly to come to bipartisan consensuses on important issues like medical malpractice reform.

Category: Medical Malpractice

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