The Doctors Company and Michigan State Medical Society Partner on Bills

January 11, 2013

The Doctors Company, a national medical malpractice insurer, announced that important tort reforms have been signed into law in Michigan.

The Michigan State Medical Society, with significant support from The Doctors Company and its trade organization, the Michigan Insurance Coalition, initiated the legislation known as the “Patients First Reform Package.”

The Patients First Reform Package, comprising Senate Bills 1115 and 1118, was approved by the House and Senate this fall and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. The bills restore and improve tort reform measures passed in 1993. Those measures established protections against meritless cases and disproportionate jury awards but were eroded over time by activist court rulings.

Senate Bill 1115 clarifies that loss of society or companionship constitutes noneconomic damages and is therefore subject to Michigan’s noneconomic damages limit. The bill also provides how future damages are calculated to prevent judicial errors in reducing awards to present value. Senate Bill 1118 limits the time period for suing on behalf of a deceased person and bans prejudgment interest on costs and attorney fees incurred during the time before a judgment is issued.

“The governor and state legislature took action to put patients first,” said John G. Bizon, MD, president of the 16,000-member Michigan State Medical Society. “By supporting reforms that protect Michigan seniors, children, and families and empowering physicians to keep their eyes fixed on what is best for their patients, lawmakers stood up for quality health care.”

“The passage of this legislation is a tremendous win for Michigan’s physicians as it mitigates the need to practice defensive medicine,” said Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company.

Source: The Doctors Company

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