Florida News

Lawyers and physicians planning to spend millions for medical malpractice bill

Last year, after three special sessions, lawmakers finally passed a Florida medical malpractice bill that appeared to leave both the lawyers and doctors on opposing sides unhappy. The final bill capped medical malpractice awards for pain and suffering in most cases at $500,000 or $1 million for egregious cases. Now the lawyers have proposed three constitutional amendments and the doctors have proposed one with enough signatures to most likely make the November 2 nd ballot.

Trial lawyers have raised $12 million to fight against the doctors'amendment, claiming Florida medical malpractice cases with limited payment will cause them to bear the high costs of litigation that can takes years before it is ever covered. The doctors have not disclosed how much they have raised.

The lawyers are pushing for amendments that would open up records that detail accounts of patients harmed in hospitals, limiting what doctors can charge for services and to revoke licenses of any doctors that have committed three or more instances of medical malpractice. Currently, medical mistakes committed in medical facilities throughout Florida is exempted from public records laws. Lawyers are also trying to force doctors to charge all patients the lowest rate they have negotiated for a service with an insurance plan regardless of if the patient belongs to that plan. Doctors are trying to limit how much a lawyer can make from Florida medical malpractice cases.

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