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Senate bill would close medical malpractice damages loophole in state law

In medical malpractice litigation, plaintiffs are keen to ensure that they maximize the amount of damages they obtain from the process. For plaintiffs, obtaining the greatest amount of damages possible is beneficial, but it adds costs to health care and potential liabilities for health care providers.

One of consequences of maximizing damages in medical malpractice litigation is that plaintiffs may be able to receive more in economic damages than they really should be receiving. Under a loophole in Michigan state law, plaintiffs sometimes are able to recover damages for medical expenses that they never incurred and that they never paid to health care providers. 

Last week, the Michigan Senate approved a bill that would change this.  The bill, which was drafted at the request of the Michigan Supreme Court back in July, ensures that an injured patient’s recoverable expenses, to be paid to providers, would not greater than the actual damages the patient receives for alleged malpractice. Supporters of the bill say that it will help control the costs of health care.

Physicians who are accused of medical malpractice, of course, need to build the strongest possible case on every front, from procedural issues to issues regarding liability and damages. When it comes to damages, a solid medical malpractice defense has to address the appropriateness of the damages requested by the plaintiff. The issue can be a contentious one.

We’ll talk a bit more about this in our next post, as well as why it is important for physicians accused of medical malpractice to work with an experienced advocate. 

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