Oregon Still (For Now) Protecting The Rights Of Medical Malpractice Victims

During the 2011 Regular Session of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, a bill was introduced that would have limited the amount of noneconomic damages to $500,000.00 for victims of medical malpractice, if it had become law. House Bill 3228 stated as follow:

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. (1) In any personal injury action against a health care provider based on the provision of medical care or the failure to provide medical care, a plaintiff may not recover noneconomic damages in an amount that exceeds the limitation imposed under subsection (2) of this section for all claims arising from personal injury to any one patient regardless of the number of health care providers against whom the claim is asserted, or the number of separate claims brought with respect to the injury. The limitation imposed by this section applies to actions brought by injured patients, actions brought by the legal representatives of patients and actions brought by persons claiming loss of consortium or loss of care, comfort, companionship or society.

(2) The limitation on noneconomic damages imposed under this section for claims arising in calendar year 2011 is $500,000. Not later than February 1 of each calendar year after 2011, the State Court Administrator shall adjust the limitation based on the immediately preceding December monthly Portland-Salem, OR-WA, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Not Seasonally Adjusted, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor. The adjusted limitation applies to all claims arising in the calendar year in which the adjustment is made.

(3) The limitation imposed by this section applies to all subjective nonmonetary losses suffered by the plaintiff, including but not limited to pain, mental suffering, emotional distress, loss of care, comfort, companionship and society, loss of consortium, inconvenience  and interference with normal and usual activities apart from gainful employment.

(4) The limitation on noneconomic damages imposed by this section applies only to a health care provider acting within the scope of the health care provider’s license.

(5) The limitation on noneconomic damages imposed by this section does not apply to claims based on intentional injury.

(6) As used in this section, “health care provider” means:

(a) A health practitioner, as described in ORS 31.740; and

(b) A health care facility, as defined in ORS 442.015.

Fortunately for the catastrophically injured victims of medical malpractice negligence in Oregon, who would not have been fairly or adequately compensated for their life-long injuries if the proposed bill had become law, House Bill 3228 did not make it out of the Oregon House Health Committee before the Oregon Legislative Assembly concluded its session and therefore House Bill 3228 died in Committee.

Another bill introduced during the most recent session of the Oregon Legislative Assembly was House Bill 3519, which would have prohibited the commencement of a civil action against a health care provider until after the submission of a health care claim to a medical legal panel [which would place an obstacle to juries making timely decisions in medical malpractice cases] ; which would have established the medical legal panels; which would have made the records and the hearings of the medical legal panels not subject to public disclosure [unlike jury trials, which are public]; and, which would have provided that the costs of the medical legal panels would be paid by surcharges on health care providers, among other provisions provided in the Bill. House Bill 3519 also died in the Oregon House Health Committee.

If you were injured as a result of negligent medical care in Oregon, or in any other state in the United States, visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be able to help you with your medical malpractice claim. You may also reach us toll free at 800-295-3959. Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 at 10:09 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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