House Approves Medical Malpractice Bill

The House has approved a bill to limit damage awards in some medical malpractice cases at one million dollars.

Lawmakers voted 110 to three last night for the bill, which had the support of doctors and lawyers.

The North Carolina Medical Society and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers supported the bill. The limits apply to negligence cases, but only for those who agree to binding arbitration.

Dick Taylor with the trail lawyers says the bill will speed resolution of smaller cases.

Doctors have blamed rising malpractice insurance premiums on multimillion-dollar awards by what they called runaway juries.

Trial attorneys wouldn't agree to award limits sought by doctors and hospitals, saying patients need financial protection for mistakes by the truly worst physicians.