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Senator Hune's Senate Committee Passes Medical Malpractice Bills

Hune's Senate Committee Passes Medical Malpractice Bills

11/27/12 - Three bills pertaining to medical malpractice, including one sponsored by State Senator Joe Hune, were approved by the Senate Insurance Committee yesterday and now go to the senate floor. Hune chairs the Insurance Committee and he says the primary purpose of the legislative package is to prevent abuse of medical malpractice laws by patients seeking damages. Opponents of the bills say they would reduce a patient's right to sue for reimbursement for injuries caused by mistakes made by doctors or hospitals. Some also claimed it would specifically interfere with litigation against a Massachusetts pharmacy that distributed steroid injections tainted with fungal meningitis. The committee allowed additional testimony from the public at yesterday's meeting to hear from lawyers and citizens who opposed the bills. A handful of people spoke, most of them opposed the bills and others expressing concern and urging caution. Hune says the fungal meningitis cases will not be affected by the bills at all and said attorneys' claims to the contrary were nothing but theatrics. He tells WHMI any other problems, such as a complaint by one woman that the bills would prevent patients from seeking compensation for non-work-related losses, will be fixed before the bill passes the senate. Only one committee member, Democrat Steven Bieda, voted against the bills' passing. Hune says the legislative package will probably go before the senate on Thursday. (TD)

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