NC Medical Malpractice Award Limits Approved By General Assembly

State lawmakers made some progress on medical malpractice reform Thursday, agreeing to limit monetary damages in certain health care negligence cases.

The bill would cap monetary damages in negligence cases involving a health care provider at a million dollars, but only for those who agree to go to binding arbitration.

The measure has the backing of the N-C Academy of Trial Lawyers
and the N-C Medical Society.

The bill was unanimously approved by the House and sent to
Governor Easley, marking a success in the often antagonistic
relationship between physicians and trial lawyers.

Under the bill, hearings would begin within ten months of the
parties agreeing to enter into arbitration. The arbitrator would
have to issue a decision within two weeks of the hearing's close,
and all monetary damages would be limited to a million dollars.
Few appeals would be allowed.