In 2005, the doctors’ lobbyist (MEDCHI) outsmarted Maryland malpractice lawyers and won the battle of public opinion as to whether there was a malpractice crisis in Maryland. This led to medical malpractice tort reform, which created separate non-economic damage caps in medical malpractice cases in Maryland.
Maryland malpractice lawyers were not the only malpractice lawyers to get fooled. In 2004, television ads of doctors in Nevada walking out of the state resonated with Nevada voters, leading to a ballot initiative that placed a $350,000 cap on malpractice damages for pain and suffering. Las Vegas malpractice lawyers in particular have noticed that the cap has understandably emboldened doctors’ medical malpractice lawyers, who have refused to settle legitimate malpractice lawsuits because they do not fear the outcome at trial. Moreover, voters now realize that doctors in Nevada are no longer accountable. Accordingly, the Nevada legislature, like the Maryland legislature, is considering a bill to roll back tort reform by eliminating the cap and by increasing the statute of limitations from two years to five. AB495 was introduced only last week by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Gook luck to malpractice victims in Nevada and Maryland in getting these bills passed.