Cancel the Cap: Legislative bill to help Virginia medical malpractice victims receive full justice
Attorney Joseph Cammarata is spearheading efforts to change Virginia law to hold medical wrongdoers fully accountable for the harms and losses they cause victims of their negligence. Cancel the Cap is a proposed bill (SB 1107) to eliminate the cap on the recovery of damages in actions against Virginia health care providers for medical malpractice. Nancy’s Story: In 2015, Nancy underwent routine lower back surgery in an effort to cure her chronic back pain. The surgeon was to remove a lower back disc and fuse the surrounding vertebrae. During the surgery, the neurosurgeon caused his surgical instrument to go too deep into the disc space and he cut Nancy’s common iliac artery in her stomach. As a result, Nancy was not able to get oxygen to her brain for approximately 23 minutes. Although Nancy was revived, she was brought back to a life of total dependence; loss of function; and cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dysfunction requiring 24-hour care. At trial, the jury was presented with evidence of Nancy’s permanent condition and of a plan which detailed Nancy’s lifetime needs. The cost of those lifetime needs, with 24-hour homecare, was approximately $7.5 million. Nancy’s other economic losses totaled approximately $1.8 million. The neurosurgeon and his insurance company did not contest the permanency of Nancy’s condition or her total economic losses of $9.3 million. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Nancy and against the neurosurgeon in the amount of $35,620,902. Unfortunately, due to the current law, which limits the amount a victim of medical malpractice can recover, Nancy’s recovery was limited to only $2.2 million. In a special edition of Medical Malpractice Diaries, Mr. Cammarata discusses the bipartisan legislative initiative with host Deirdre Dickson-Gilbert of the National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association. Current Virginia law places a cap, or limit, on the amount of money medical malpractice victims can recover, regardless of the harms and losses they suffer. Cancel the Cap (SB 1107) amends and reenacts § 8.01-581.15 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the limitation on recovery in certain medical malpractice actions. Nancy will not benefit from the legislation, but its passing will allow future medical malpractice victims in Virginia to receive full justice. The bill has bipartisan support from chief patron State Sen. Bill Stanley (R-District 20) and co-patron State Sen. Scott Surovell (D-District 36). SB 1107 will: Allow seriously injured Virginians to be fairly and fully compensated for harm caused by the wrongdoer. Ensure Virginia taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill for malpractice. Reduce the burden on an exploding public health insurance system. End the current law’s protection of medical providers from full accountability for the harm they cause victims of their negligence. Eliminate placing arbitrary values on human life. The current cap: Favors insurance companies at the expense of victims. Shifts the burden of caring for the victims to taxpayers. Disproportionately negatively impacts persons of lower socio-economic means. Results in more cases going to trial, which clogs an overburdened court system. Provides no incentive for insurance companies to settle since they know their risk of loss is contained and controlled. Forces victims to expend considerable resources to go to trial, which diminishes the amount of money they will have available to pay for future care. Is unfair and unjust. If two people are injured the same way and suffer the same harm – one injured from medical negligence and the other not – the medical negligence victim should not get less for the same harm. Learn more: Visit https://www.chaikinandsherman.com/cancel-the-cap/ Contact your legislator at https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/ Email email@example.com Follow #cancelthecapva on social media
Malpractice Diaries Episode 8- "Defense vs. Plaintiff," Changed in a Matter of Hours
Big insurance companies and hospitals have some of the best defense attorneys who protect them from liability. Bradley Schwartz knew the lingo and protected the big guys and one day he was affected by the very industry he protected.