Senate tentatively backs higher cap in some malpractice suits
February 28, 2008
DENVER – The Senate has given initial backing to a bill that would increase the amount juries can award in some medical malpractice suits.The proposal applies to cases where someone has been disfigured or impaired. The bill would allow those people to sue for up to $1 million in damages, although the judge could allow jurors to award more money.The Democratic bill is backed by trial lawyers. Doctors and the state’s largest medical malpractice insurer oppose it.Republican senators argued that higher malpractice premiums could lead doctors to close their practices, especially in rural areas.Democrats say the change applies to only a handful of severe cases where patients deserve the right to sue for appropriate damages.