Special Session Update

By  | 

House and Senate negotiators worked late Sunday to hammer out a compromise medical malpractice bill to present to lawmakers who return to the Capitol on Monday.

Work continued on the same issues that have impeded progress since the special session convened Sept. 5.

However, some progress was made.

The conferees generally agreed to cap pain and suffering awards, beginning the limits at $500,000 and phasing in increases to a cap of one million dollars in future years. The difference between the two houses was on how fast to reach the one million dollar figure.

The conferees continued to work on whether physical impairment and disfigurement claims would fall under the caps on pain and suffering awards, also called non-economic damages.

The negotiators earlier agreed that lawsuits would be filed where the injury occurred. What continues to tie up the process are the division of financial responsibility among two or more defendants in a malpractice suit and whether drug company representatives should be sued in state courts.