Monday, February 06, 2006

Utah Tort Reform

From the Salt Lake (City) Tribune:

Bonnie and John Robbins lost their 13-month-old daughter, Rubie, two years ago to meningitis after she was allegedly misdiagnosed in the emergency room at Primary Children's Medical Center.

Now, the two warn that Utah victims of medical mistakes could have a harder time finding a lawyer to represent them if state lawmakers pass HB270.

The bill would make it more difficult to win malpractice lawsuits against emergency health care providers. Sponsored by Sheryl Allen, R-Bountiful, Emergency Medical Service Provider Tort Reform would amend state law to give such medical personnel a higher level of protection against litigation than other health care providers.

Under the bill, the standard for determining negligence by emergency care workers would be upgraded from a "preponderance of the evidence" to "clear and convincing" evidence.

Lawmakers passed the bill on to the full House earlier this week after two hours of emotional testimony from patients' families, doctors, victims' advocates and lawyers.


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