On July 13, 2011, N.C. Legislators voted to override Governor Perdue's veto of Senate Bill 33 / House Bill 542. The legislation proposed by Republican leaders at the request of medical providers and insurance carriers essentially guts the legal rights of injured victims, largely relieving physicians of responsibility for their negligence in most instances.
Many of the legislations sponsoring and supporting this legislation have refused to acknowledge the dangerous repercussions of the proposed law and the need for the bill. Simply stated, many of the representatives in Raleigh are more concerned with the opinions of those filing their election coffers than the legal rights of their constituents. To that end, the NCAJ has continued to educate the public regarding the actual statistics for medical malpractice actions in North Carolina. For instance: In the last decade, med mal cases account for less than 25% of the litigation in N.C.; In the last three years, the number of med mal lawsuits has dropped approximately 20% compared to the prior 10 years.
A vote on Senate Bill 33 is expected in the near future. I highly encourage you to contact your representative and voice any concerns you have regarding this legislation. I also encourage you to carefully exercise your right to vote in an educated manner in the next election.