Highlighting Medical Malpractice Developments In Arizona, Illinois

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Medical Malpractice

Summaries of recent developments related to medical malpractice in two states appear below.

  • Arizona: Arizona Senate Health CommitteeChair Carolyn Allen (R) this year plans to reintroduce a bill thatwould make medical malpractice lawsuits against emergency departmentphysicians more difficult for plaintiffs to win, the Capitol Media/Arizona Daily Starreports. The legislation would require plaintiffs to prove by "clearand convincing evidence" that the care provided by physicians did notmeet accepted professional standards. The state Legislature in 2006passed an identical bill, but Gov. Janet Napolitano (R) vetoed thelegislation, which she said would not encourage physicians to work inEDs (Fischer, Capitol Media/Arizona Daily Star, 11/13).
  • Illinois:Cook County Judge Diane Larsen has declared unconstitutional a 2005state law that caps noneconomic damages in malpractice lawsuits at$500,000 in cases against physicians and $1 million in cases againsthospitals, the Chicago Tribunereports. Larsen ruled that the caps violate a clause in the stateconstitution that separates the powers of state Legislature andjudiciary. The case likely will move to the Illinois Supreme Court,which twice in the past 30 years has stuck down state laws that soughtto cap damages in negligence lawsuits (Sachdev, Chicago Tribune, 11/13).

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