North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Opines On Pending Medical Malpractice Bill

Posted by Christopher Shumate | Dec 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

Former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Bev Lake recently opined that the proposed legislation (Senate Bill 33) that would vastly reduce medical malpractice victims' rights in the state is unconstitutional. Justice Lake specifically stated that the proposed arbitrary cap on recovery for damages in such claims which Senate Republicans have proposed would be unconstitutional. Proponents of the legislation have pushed a $250,000 cap.

Justice Lake served on the North Carolina Supreme Court for twelve years, sitting as the Chief Justice from 2000 to 2006. I find Justice Lake's opinion particularly interesting given that he is a Republican. The current round of "tort reform" bills being introduced in the N.C. legislature, which are aimed to destroy the rights of the states' citizens, are being pushed primarily by Republicans. Justice Lake made some very important points in an interview regarding Senate Bill 33. He noted that such a cap is "unnecessary as well as unconstitutional". He further stated "North Carolina citizens have a 'sacred and inviolable' right to have a jury determine the amount of compensatory damages, including non-economic damages, under our Constitution. The right to have a jury make that decision cannot be eliminated or restricted by the General Assembly."

About the Author

Christopher Shumate

Mr. Chris Shumate is a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, and worked various jobs while pursuing his undergraduate and Juris Doctor education, including several heavy manual labor and skilled trade positions. In his practice, Mr. Shumate often encounters circumstances where these prior experiences are helpful in representing you. Upon graduating law school from the University of South Carolina, Mr. Shumate joined one of the Carolinas' larger defense firms, where he represented a diverse set of employers and insurance companies in civil cases and workers' compensation claims across the Carolinas. Chris utilized this experience to obtain a working knowledge of the insurance industry, and build personal contacts used today in representing you. Mr. Shumate ultimately decided he wanted to focus his law practice on assisting those who have been injured, and doing so with the focus on a personal relationship that is uncommon in the bigger firms. Mr. Shumate's also has a passion for assisting those facing the challenges of the criminal legal system. By representing individuals in a variety of criminal and traffic matters, Mr. Shumate works to achieve the best possible result for each client regardless of the charges levied by the prosecution. Chris has tirelessly pursued his mission of helping people from all walks of life throughout the Carolinas with a variety of legal matters. If you are interested in learning more about Chris Shumate and The Shumate Law Offices, please contact us at 704.371.5059. We look forward to assisting you to achieve a positive result in your legal concern. Education J.D., University of South Carolina B.S., University of South Carolina Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice N.C. State BarS.C. State BarU.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina Professional & Bar Association Memberships N.C. Bar Association S.C. Bar Association Mecklenburg County Bar N.C. Academy Of Trial Lawyers American Association For Justice


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