New Jersey News

New Jersey Medical Malpractice Bill Approved by Assembly; Doctors Threaten Job Action in October

The New Jersey Assembly approved a medical malpractice insurance reform measure on Tuesday, but the Senate did not take action on the legislation before adjourning for the summer. The committee eliminated a proposed $300,000 cap on awards for pain and suffering inflicted on malpractice victims, as well as a state-funded pool to subsidize larger jury awards. This may cause another confrontation between legislators and doctors when the Senate reconvenes in September. Doctors have threatened to close their offices starting October 7 if the reform bills are not altered to their liking, with the inclusion of caps. Assembly Democrats say they removed the so-called “cap-gap” because it would undermine the legal rights of patients. Under the proposed legislation, all medical malpractice cases would be investigated before the lawsuit is filed, preventing innocent doctors from being named as defendants.

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