Saturday, 15 of December of 2018

Obama Remains Opposed to Limits on Awards to Medical Malpractice Victims

We have repeatedly said the cap on damages that has been in place in Virginia since the 1970s, is arbitrary. The cap was put through the VA legislature to give special treatment to medical providers and doctors.

By John Cooper, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

President Barack Obama remains opposed to limits on how much can be awarded to victims in medical malpractice cases, according to the White House.

The president’s opposition to caps on liability remain, even though he “responded favorably to a Republican lawmaker recommending legislation along those lines to restrain health costs,” the Associated Press reported.

“I said West Virginia passed medical liability reforms and we should do it. Try it and you’ll like it,” Rep. Shelley Moore Capito said she told the president in relation to West Virginia’s (WV) medical liability reforms. She said Obama told her it sounded great.

The White House later denied the president has changed his stance.

Nick Papas, a White House spokesman, told AP the president “does not support caps on medical malpractice awards, since they can be unfair to people who’ve been wrongfully harmed. However, he does want to work with Republicans to bring down costs in the health system and improve care.”

As experienced Virginia (VA) medical malpractice attorneys, we are are pleased the official White House position has not changed. We have repeatedly said the cap on damages that has been in place in Virginia since the 1970s, is arbitrary. The cap was put through the VA legislature to give special treatment to medical providers and doctors. It reflects the strength of lobbyists in Virginia for the healthcare industry and the insurance companies over the medical malpractice issue.

Our attorneys do not believe this is a fair system because it means a jury’s ability to award a victim what it believes they are entitled to, is curtailed.

Recently we reported on how a jury in Norfolk, VA, awarded $5 million to a 20-year-old man, as well as his parents, in a lawsuit against an anesthesiologist and the Norfolk Children’s Specialty Group. The amount was cut to $1.85 million because of the cap.

This ceiling on damages has even affected our clients, including a client who obtained a $2.3 million dollar verdict in November 2010 in an infant’s shoulder injury trial, leading to a settlement within the existing Virginia medical malpractice cap.

DM

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose Virginia/Carolina attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message so we can return your call. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, South Carolina (SC), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Florida (FL) and Washington, DC. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services.