NC will limit some medical malpractice awards

While they didn't exactly remake the state's medical malpractice laws, North Carolina legislators seem ready to made some changes. A bill headed for the desk of Gov. Mike Easley (D) would establish caps on monetary awards in some medical malpractice suits. If approved, the measure will cap monetary damages in negligence cases involving a provider at $1 million--at least if the provider agrees to go to binding arbitration. The hearings would have to begin within 10 months of the provider and plaintiff agreeing to go into arbitration.

Oddly enough, the measure is supported by both the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers and the N.C. Medical Society, an odd set of bedfellows at best. No one's sure, of course, what impact the measure would have on the current rate of malpractice filings, which averaged 600 per year between 1998 and 2006.

To find out more about the new limits:
- read this article from The Associated Press

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