New York governor Cuomo recently attempted to impose limits on medical malpractice lawsuit awards. He was doing this in an attempt to control the state’s health care costs. The measure did not pass and thus there can still be large malpractice awards won in the state of New York.
Arguments made in Nassau and Suffolk in favor of limits on medical malpractice lawsuits usually revolve around curtailing the rapid rise of overall medical costs which are due in part to large monetary awards given in malpractice cases. Opponents of limits say that any limit on a doctor or hospital’s liability greatly reduces their incentive to reduce errors and provide the best possible care, says a source.
Despite the unsuccessful measure which would have limited awards, the governor did manage to enact a fund for infants which were harmed due to medical malpractice. The fund would provide for future medical costs related to the medical errors that lead to further complications and medical expenses. The governor believes that the fund will better provide for the children than a one-time jury award would. The fund would cover increasing medical costs due to inflation and new technologies.
If the fund were to run out of money at some future point or be significantly depleted, lawsuits would once again be allowed against the responsible parties, explains a reporter. Though the specifics of the fund have not been finalized, several patient advocacy groups have already begun campaigning against the fund. The involvement of the government in the care of injured infants, who may require a lifetime of care, is not an ideal solution; they say that the families of these children will face endless bureaucracy as they attempt to seek care.
Patient groups say that the main beneficiaries of the new system are the doctors and hospitals who will save millions of dollar in malpractice insurance premiums, says a rep. Proponents of the fund say that everyone will win because the fund will lower health care costs for all health care consumers. At this point, there is no set start date for the fund.
If you have a child that was harmed because of medical malpractice, contact a NYC Medical Malpractice Attorney who can be your legal advocate.