The WSMA supports tort reform to include, but not limited to, certificate of merit, alternative dispute resolution systems, several liability for non-economic damages, reform of the contingent fee system, and elimination of double recoveries while preserving subrogation rights.
(BT Rpt J, A-01; EC Rpt F, A-02) (Reaffirmed A-17)
The WSMA seeks changes in the tort law system, at the state and federal levels, that: 1) moderate the rising cost of medical malpractice insurance premiums; 2) accelerate settlements to the injured party in the event of negligence; 3) reduce wasteful tort system transactional expenses so that more of the settlement goes to the injured party; 4) increase the focus of the tort law system on fairly compensating victims of negligence; and, 5) reduce the dramatic rise in awards for non-economic damages. (Res C-16, A-02; EC Rpt E, A-03) (Reaffirmed A-17)
The WSMA supports, as a part of tort reform, equitable funding of patient safety/medical error reduction programs in hospitals and other medical settings (such as an allocation of 1% of health care licensing fees and medical malpractice settlements and judgments to the Department of Health), and strengthening of physician and hospital quality assurance programs. (EC Rpt E, A-03) (Reaffirmed A-17)
The WSMA will work with other groups and organizations to seek these changes by means of legislation, regulation and/or initiative and constitutional amendments.
(Res C-16, A-02; EC Rpt E, A-03) (Reaffirmed A-17)
The WSMA will work with all specialties, particularly those most urgently affected, to advance the need for immediate reform of the tort system. (EC Rpt E, A-03) (Reaffirmed A-17)
The WSMA supports any and all legal efforts by physicians to exercise their constitutional rights to petition government for statutory changes to reform the tort system. (EC Rpt E, A-03) (Reaffirmed A-17)
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Abbreviations for House of Delegates report origination:
EC – Executive Committee; BT – Board of Trustees; CPA – Council on Professional Affairs; JC – Judicial Council; CHS – Community and Health Services