Ga. Legislature Examining Civil Justice Reform Bills

February 16, 2004

The Georgia legislature is reportedly considering almost a dozen House bills dealing with civil justice reform and medical malpractice insurance reform.

“We commend the sponsors of these bills for taking on this politically charged issue,” said Robert Herlong, Southeast regional manager of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), which strongly supports civil justice reform. “The fact that this related batch of bills has been introduced at this time is an encouraging sign that Georgia is getting serious about fixing its tort system.”

The following bills were introduced this session:

·H.B. 1337, providing for standards in admitting testimony in medical malpractice cases;

·H.B. 1338, relating to apportionment of damages and modification of the rule relating to joint and several liability;

·H.B. 1339, eliminating liability for noneconomic damages in cases of emergency room treatment except for gross negligence;

·H.B. 1340, the “Unliquidated Damages Interest Act,” pertaining to offers of settlement, attorneys fees and interest on amounts demanded;

·H.B. 1341, restricting a plaintiff’s right to invoke voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit;

·H.B. 1342, repealing the “collateral source” rule;

·H.B. 1343, capping noneconomic damages at $250,000 in medical malpractice actions;

·H.B. 1400, the “Frivolous Litigation Prevention Act,” requiring an attorney certification that an action is warranted; and

·H.B. 1401, providing rural physicians an income tax credit for medical malpractice insurance premiums up to $25,000.

“PCI will continue to work with others in the business community in support of meaningful civil justice reform,” added Herlong.

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