After a couple of false starts, H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access to Care Act is going to the House floor this week. This massive medical malpractice bill also applies to nursing home and drug and device cases. The bill caps non-economic damages at $250,000, eliminates joint liability for economic and non-economic loss, caps attorney fees, has a restrictive statute of limitations and says that a doctor and a pharmaceutical company cannot be named in the same lawsuit.
This means, among many other things, that finding an attorney to handle a brain injury case will be more challenging and that financial compensation for injuries that are hard to quantify (such as pain and suffering) cannot surpass $250,000.
The bill will not get better during floor debate. The only amendments that will be allowed are amendments that make the bill worse for patients. The debate on this bill will begin on Tuesday with vote on final passage scheduled for Wednesday.