The Senate rejected Tuesday changes to SB33, Medical Liability Reforms, made by the House last week. Sen. Peter Brunstetter (R-Forsyth) stated that both proponents and opponents of the bill had asked that the Senate not concur with the House version until some additional changes had been made.
The Senate and House agreed to put a $500,000 cap on jury awards for non-economic damages sought by malpractice plaintiffs. However, the two chambers differ on what non-economic damages should entail. Non-economic damages traditionally include pain and suffering and emotional distress but the House cap doesn’t apply to disfigurement, partial loss of a body part, or permanent injury.
The bill now goes to a conference committee where a compromise will be worked out.