Petition Closed
Petitioning Concerned Citizens re: Medical Malpractice Immunity Bills and 1 other

Medical Malpractice Immunity Bills


 

Dear Friends:

 

Your urgent help is needed. Recently, legislation has been introduced into the Michigan Senate that would grant legal and economic immunity to doctors, hospitals and their insurance companies. Hearings have been held. An additional hearing is expected on May 29, 2012.  Time is critical- Senators plan to vote on these measures early next week.

If passed into law, negligent doctors would get a free pass and would not be accountable  for their actions. Taxpayers would bear the burden of providing for those injured the worst because the right to bring a medical malpractice claim would effectively be destroyed. Many families would suffer devastating losses; all while doctors and insurance companies get richer and richer.

The Medical Malpractice Immunity Bills are SB 1110, 1115, 1116, 1117 and 1118.  We urge you to help protect the citizens of Michigan by signing this petition and contacting the State Senators on the Insurance Committee by phone, letter or email. Tell them Michigan citizen’s strongly oppose these proposals.   They are bad laws and dishonest.  They have nothing to do with protecting patients. 

Letter to
Concerned Citizens re: Medical Malpractice Immunity Bills
Michigan State Senate
Friends and Colleagues:

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Your URGENT help is needed.
Senate Bills 1110, 1115, 1116, 1117, and 1118.

Recently a series of sweeping proposed laws have been introduced in the Michigan Senate that are supposed to “reform” the law in Michigan regarding medical malpractice cases. The stated purpose of these of these bills is to “protect” patients and keep doctors from leaving the state.

A review of the bills quickly reveals they have nothing to do with protecting patients. Instead they will make it virtually impossible for a patient injured or killed by a doctor’s wrongdoing to bring a case in Michigan.

Some key provisions in these bills would:

• Bar a patient’s case and create immunity so long as the doctor/healthcare provider “exercised their judgment” in providing care.

• Bar a patient’s case and create complete immunity unless the patient could prove the doctor was “grossly negligent” for care provided in the emergency room or that followed the emergency room in surgery, obstetrics and other care

• Further reduce damages – already limited and capped – particularly for those with most severe, permanent injuries

It is hard to imagine how preventing cases unless a doctor was grossly negligent will protect patients. Instead it would make medical care far more dangerous. Saying the patient does not have a case because the doctor “exercised his judgment” would be like a driver running a red light and killing someone but not being held accountable because they exercised their judgment and thought the light was green. Or limiting a patient’s right to recover damages even more than they already are.

Most citizens are completely unaware that current law in Michigan limits (caps) damages at $424,000 in most cases. Currently jurors are not even allowed to be told this when cases go to trial. These protections, already in place, have resulted in an 80% drop in the number of malpractice cases and a nearly equal drop in the amount paid out in settlement of malpractice claims. Yet the proposed bills go even further. Rather than losing physicians, Michigan has seen a steady increase in the number of doctors year after year after year.

Medical errors are currently responsible for over a million needless injuries and deaths each year. With no accountability, those numbers will only increase in Michigan. Instead of negligent doctors and hospitals being held accountable for their misconduct, the costs of caring for those catastrophically injured or killed would be forced on employers and taxpayers in the form of more costly health insurance premiums and increased costs to Medicaid and Medicare.

These proposals are bad law and very dishonest as written. They have nothing to do with protecting patients in Michigan. We urge voters to contact their State Senator and the Senators on the Insurance Committee by phone or email and ask them to OPPOSE SB1110, 1115, 1116, 1117, and 1118.

Please also forward a copy of this email to every person in your email contact list and ask them to do the same.

We can make a difference by signing this Petition and voicing our objections to the implementation of these Bills.

You should also contact your State Senator and the Senators on the Insurance Committee by phone or email. (A copy of all of the Insurance Committee members contact phone numbers and email addresses are below)

Joe Hune (R) Committee Chair, 22nd District
Office Address: 505 Farnum Building
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909-7536
By Phone: (517) 373-2420
By Fax: (517) 373-2764
By Email: SenJHune@senate.michigan.gov

Jim Marleau (R) Majority Vice Chair, 12th District
Office Address: 1010 Farnum Building
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909-7536
By Phone: (248) 724-2442
By Fax: (517) 373-2694
By Email: jimmarleau@senate.michigan.gov

Jack Brandenburg (R), 11th District
Office Address: 605 Farnum Building
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909-7536
By Phone: (517) 373-7670
By Fax: (517) 37305958
By Email: SenJBrandenburg@senate.michigan.gov

Goeff Hansen (R), 34th District
Office Address: 420 Farnum Building
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909-7536
By Phone: (517) 373-1635
By Fax: (517) 373-3300
By Email: http://www.misenategop.com/senators/contact.asp?District=34

David B. Robertson (R), 26th District
Office Address: 320 Farnum Building
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909-7536
By Phone: (517) 373-1636
By Fax: (517) 373-1453
By Email: SenDRobertson@senate.michigan.gov

Virgil Smith, (D), Minority Vice Chair
4th District, Wayne Country
State Capitol, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7536
PH: 866-348-6304
PH: 517-373-7918
EM: senvsmith(at)senate.mi.gov
Contact form: http://www.virgilksmith.com/vks/contact
Twitter: SenVSmith

Steven M. Bieda (D), 9th District
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909
By Phone: (517) 373-8360
By Fax: (517) 373-9230
By Email: http://bieda.senatedems.com/contact-me