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New Medical Malpractice Legislation to Strengthen Tort Reform

Posted by Ron Chapman

Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bills 1115 and 1118 into law on January 9th. The Sentate Bills which were part of the Patients First Reform Package are now Public Acts 608 and 609, which aim to strengthen tort laws.

Senate Bill 1115 clarifies noneconomic damages in medical malpractice claims and how they are to be calculated and limited, while Senate Bill 1118 decreases the amount of time personal representatives have to bring medical malpractice claims. Additionally, Senate Bill 1115 requires the total judgment amount be reduced by the percentage of plaintiff’s fault and the amount of all settlements paid by all joint tortfeasors and reduces the amount of future damages to present values at a rate of 5% per year for every year in which the damages accrue.

The legislation, which was initiated by the Michigan State Medical Society and The Doctors Company, aims to increase patients’ access and quality of health care by allowing physicians to focus more on care and less on defensive medicine. While some critics question the Senate Bills’ ability to improve Michigan patients’ access to health care, many physicians support the Senate Bills and believe the law will allow them to keep their eyes fixed on what is best for their patients.

If you have received a letter of investigation, Notice of Intent (NOI) or a complaint, please contact our medical malpractice attorneys at Chapman Law Group. For over 20 years, we have been defending health professionals and would be honored to assist you.