The Georgia State Senate has taken up and aims to pass an extremely aggressive tort reform package. For years the state’s trial lawyers have backed Democrats. Now it’s payback time.
The Georgia Senate approved tighter rules Tuesday for people trying to sue doctors for malpractice, an effort to try to drive down insurance premiums for doctors.
The vote came after the state’s largest malpractice insurer, MAG Mutual, promised senators in a letter that they’d drop premiums 10 percent if the malpractice bill was approved. Doctors have been pushing for the reforms for years, saying they’re being choked by high premiums.
The measure limits awards for some damages at $750,000 for people hurt by negligent doctors, and also tweaks rules in the legal system to discourage frivolous lawsuits and encourage people to settle out of court.
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The most animated part of the debate came before the bill was even considered, when ruling Republicans squashed any opportunity for amendments to the bill. That move forces senators to vote simply yes-or-no, and dramatically shortens debate.
Of course, now the State GOP is going to see the full fury of the trial lawyers as the lawyers wage the battle on their turf — sympathetic courts stacked with Democrat appointed judges. I give it ten months before the Georgia courts rule the law unconstitutional on novel grounds.