Yesterday afternoon the Civil Practice Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 to reject a bill offered by Rep. Doug Overbey that would have capped pain and suffering awards to medical malpractice victims and placed other limitations on recoveries. Voting against the legislation were Chairman Briley, Majority Leader McMillian, and Rep. Brooks. Fifteen to twenty doctors and the spouses of several attended the committee meeting and worked the halls before the vote. Several victims of malpractice also attended and spoke with some of the committee members.
The health care industry reportedly spent $500,000+ on this effort and one of their representatives has told me that they will be back next year. They want caps on damages and will accept nothing less.
The legislators opposing this legislation were under tremendous pressure to vote in favor of the health care industry and exercised great courage by standing up in favor of patients. Each of them deserve our thanks and our support.
The TTLA lobbying team did a great job on this legislation. We are fortunate to have a dedicated group of lobbyists, not just because they get paid to lobby but because they believe that we are right. Their tireless efforts were of great assistance in beating back yet another effort at “tort deform.”