Texas Physicians Joins Lawsuit to Protect Liability Reforms

February 13, 2008

The Texas Medical Association reported it has joined a legal action aimed a protecting tort reforms passed by the Texas Legislature passed in 2003.

TMA said it sued to resolve several constitutional challenges to the centerpiece of the 2003 reforms: a cap on noneconomic damages (such as for pain and suffering) that may be awarded in a medical liability case.

The TMA suit was filed in Travis County district court in conjunction with John McKeever, MD, a TMA member and Corpus Christi orthopedic surgeon; the Texas Alliance for Patients Access; and the Texas Hospital Association. The suit follows the legal pathway the Texas Legislature set out when it enacted the reforms in 2003. The TMA action comes in response to a liability case against Dr. McKeever that claims the noneconomic damage cap is unconstitutional.

The plaintiff is alleging poor aftercare from arthroscopic knee surgery, which caused him to lose cartilage in his knee, according to the TMA. Although the plaintiff is not limited in his potential recovery for medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation, he contends the law’s $250,000 cap on any potential pain and suffering award is unconstitutional and should be ruled invalid.

Source: Texas Medical Association, www. texmed.org/

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