Texas Legislature passed major medical liability tort reform in 2003, and a new study released by the Texas Hospital Association shows the state’s hospitals continue to see their liability costs drop.
According to the study, 85 percent of hospitals are finding it easier to recruit specialists and subspecialists because of the reduced threat of a major medical malpractice lawsuit. Further, 69 percent of institutions say they have been able to expand services because of declining liability costs.
The 2004 reforms passed by the legislature were in response to increased lawsuits affecting the medical field.
The legislature imposed a $750,000 cap on judgments for noneconomic damages – such as emotional distress, pain and suffering – in health care liability cases.
There is no cap on actual damages such as loss of income or medical expenses. The cap was effective Sept. 1, 2003, and Texas voters approved Proposition 12 in a statewide constitutional election held Sept. 13 of that year, giving lawmakers the authority to adopt the caps.
Medical Analysis: Good for doctors and hospitals and guess what insurance companies who now can get record profits.
Legal Analysis: Unfortunately kids, non working folks and the elderly who do not have economic damages are limited in their recovery even in egregious cases.